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UK and Egypt sign MoU on branch campuses, as global ministers meet

Marking “another significant step in the strong relationship between the UK and Egyptian HE sectors”, a memorandum of understanding was signed to enable UK institutions to broaden their education offer in Egypt.

"The quantity and depth of UK-Egypt partnerships has been growing steadily over recent years and there is clear demand to expand this further"

The agreement will give the UK HE sector a competitive advantage in Egypt by removing barriers to set up branch campuses in the country.

It was signed by the new UK minister for higher education Sam Gyimah and Egypt minister for higher education Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar during an aside to the Education World Forum.

UUKi has worked with universities and government stakeholders in both countries to support the development of the MoU.

“The UK already has a strong track record of delivering higher education overseas”

“The opportunity for UK universities to establish international branch campuses in Egypt will support Egypt’s internationalisation ambitions and labour market demands,” said Abdel-Ghaffar.

“We are excited to see how international branch campuses will contribute to the fabric of Egypt’s higher education landscape and be catalysts for broader international partnerships between the UK and Egypt in research, innovation and mobility.”

The new branch campuses will support Egypt’s 2030 economic strategy by growing capacity within its higher education sector, while increasing research collaborations and opportunities for student and staff mobility.

“The UK already has a strong track record of delivering higher education overseas and this agreement underscores that proud tradition,” said UK higher education minister Sam Gyimah.

The new agreement builds on a strong relationship between the higher education sectors of the two countries, underscored by a 2015 memorandum of understanding on education, research and innovation which has seen continued expansion of UK-Egypt higher education partnerships.

UK universities are already ‘integral to the Egyptian higher education landscape’ according to Universities UK International.

Egypt is the top host country in the MENA region for UK transnational education and the fifth in the world, with nearly 20,000 students studying for UK degrees through joint programmes in 2015-16.

“The quantity and depth of UK-Egypt partnerships has been growing steadily over recent years and there is clear demand to expand this further,” said director of Universities UK International Vivienne Stern.

“This is a unique example of the UK being invited to support the development of a new framework enabling new opportunities for transnational education.”

The recent Education World Forum saw another UK transnational education partnership signed.

According to the Department for Education, 82% of UK providers already delivering UK degrees overseas.

The University of Nottingham Malaysia signed an agreement with Panyathip International School to offer university foundation programmes in Laos.

This will give the university the chance to reach even further into ASEAN countries, University of Nottingham Malaysia CEO and Provost Professor Graham Kendall said.

“This partnership provides the millennials in Laos the opportunity to study for our foundation courses without having to leave their home country, although they are welcome to come to any of our campuses for a short period to give them the global experience that is so important these days,” he said.

According to the Department for Education, 82% of UK providers already delivering UK degrees overseas.

Industry observers are increasingly looking at transnational education and partnerships as development avenues for the international education industry – and shields against factors that will change global mobility patterns in the future.

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