Mohamed Nasr Elgebali shares Egyptian experience of international education
The world is developing and getting globalized when borders are being erased, and the youth is able to earn a degree in their home countries and abroad. Cooperation and exchange are very important nowadays and serves as a key to a successful partnership in the future. An opportunity to study at international universities benefits both students and universities. A university gets an extra stimulus to improve their quality of education, a real exchange of experience, and growing to the next international cooperation level. For a student, this is an open door to a new undiscovered world, perception of a different culture, extension of internal horizons, and, of course, a fundamental scientific training.

I have received such invaluable experience while studying in Russia. I have specialized in Russian literature. Therefore, it was a gift of destiny for me to study Ph. D. in the country of origin of the literature that I dedicated my professional and scientific activity. It was the moment when the new world and culture opened to me. And I can confidently tell that the experience of international education influenced my destiny a lot.

It is worth mentioning that over 50% of all international students from Egypt study in Russia, which is a positive trend. Our countries enjoy close relations, making it comfortable for the Egyptians to study in Russia, which scientific and research university fundamental is among the greatest in the world.

In turn, Egypt is also open to international students. The brand- new Study in Egypt project was formally launched in 2019. Egypt has traditionally been a scientific and academic capital of the African continent, and students from African countries have been visiting Egypt for study purposes for a long time. We currently observe that students and young scientists from Europe, America, and Russia come to study in Egypt. The number of universities has doubled for a couple of years, and study programs have been customized for international students. As usual, the most popular majors are Archeology, History, and Arabic Language as Egypt provides an unprecedented opportunity for archeological and historical fieldwork. Joint work with international research centers enriches both parties as they enjoy the process of modern research technologies exchange, and they can explore unique artifacts and materials. This strengthens international relations and the global scientific process.

The Study in Egypt Program

— What are the objectives of the Study in Egypt program?
One of the initiative's key targets is to disseminate information about opportunities and prospects for Egyptian education. Besides, when you extend your activities to the global education market simultaneously, you improve the quality of educational institutions for them to meet the international standards.
This program already pays off as around 87,000 international students have been enrolled in Egyptian universities in recent years, whereas 13,000 of the study is at public universities.
The biggest student communities represent countries like Kuwait, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, and Sudan. Also, there are a lot of students from Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Mauritania, and Nigeria. The number of students from other countries is also increasing gradually.

— What is the motivation of international students to study in Egypt?
First of all, there is a stable and wide variety of study programs available at Egyptian universities. According to the Ministry of Higher Education of Egypt, the number of partner study programs means that a student can study in Egypt and get an international certificate accredited in Egypt and international universities.

There is currently a list of international programs in Egypt that are open for international students to come and study in Egypt at any time of the year. However, a student has to attend at least 75% of classes in order to be awarded a certificate. This requirement serves to strengthen the Egyptian education system and is aimed at the student's involvement in the learning process. Such programs are designed based on a demand for the specific profession, which, in turn, will allow an increase in the number of international students in Egypt.

According to the Ministry of Education, Egypt is one of the top destinations among the countries where students from Arabic and African countries go to study. Therefore, the number of full-time scholarships has been increased from 429 to 850. The number of exchange scholarships for joint study programs has been increased.

Special attention is paid to teaching Arabic as a foreign language. Specialized programs have already been designed for diplomatic officials, entrepreneurship, mass media, and so on. Teaching is conducted, taking into account further fields of application: engineering, technical, humanitarian fields, etc. We see the growing demand for Arabic calligraphy as well as classical and spoken speech. Learning the language is the first and main key to mutual understanding; therefore, Arabic as a foreign language is the main direction of taking Egypt to the global education market.

The Study in Egypt program is being modified in order to meet the current situation. The dedicated mobile app has been launched in 2020. It contains comprehensive information about all Egyptian public and private universities, connecting potential students directly with universities' officials. The app also provides information on transportation services, health facilities, cultural venues, and sights. The app connects all parts of the international student's lifestyle, allowing them to adapt better and get settled faster.

Our goal is to increase the number of international students in Egypt and disseminate information on opportunities and advantages of study in Egypt.


As of the financial part, according to Mr. Rahi Kamel, Head of the Central Department on International Students of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, an average rate of living costs of an international student of a public university in Egypt is around US$8,000 per year including tuition fee and accommodation costs. In contrast, at private universities, it amounts to US $17,000.
Around 65% of international students study medicine.

Cairo leads the list of top cities that attract the most numbers of international students. Other top destinations are Alexandria, Ain Shams, and Mansoura.

The biggest communities of an international student in Egypt apart from Arabic and African countries belong to China, Germany, and Hungary. Recently Egyptian universities have started to see the growth of students from Sweden.

The most demanded majors for international students are the Arabic language, Archeology, and Middle East Studies.
Mohamed Nasr Elgebali, Adviser on Education and Culture of the Embassy of Arab Republic of Egypt in the Russian Federation, Director of Cultural Bureau of Egypt in Moscow. Doctor Elgebali served as a head of Russian language departments at University of Ain-Shams and University of Luxor. He is one of the leading interpreters and translators in Arabic world. Translator and author of over 30 books oncluding Russian-Arabic dictionary of polytechnic anc economic concepts.