Egypt’s private higher-education institutions cannot absorb all of the country’s high school graduates, so they must be allowed to go abroad to study and work, and to contribute to the national economy, says Mohamed Helmy El-Ghor, secretary-general of Egypt’s Council of Private Universities.
In an interview with Al-Fanar Media, El-Ghor said a shortage of faculty members was also a major problem for Egypt’s private universities. The institutions also face challenges in marketing and tuition fees, he said.
Besides its public universities, Egypt has 27 private universities and four private community universities, with between 250,000 to 300,000 students in 169 faculties. These students form about 8 to 10 percent of the Egyptian total.
Too Much Focus on Tuition
Egyptian private universities need to study surrounding countries because “they live in a bubble, isolated from the world,” El-Ghor said. “They only seek profit. No one is questioning the reasons for the small rates of student enrollment. Universities do not have a marketing study.”
Private universities in Egypt face strong competition in the region, especially from institutions in Jordan and Turkey, which offer lower prices, he said. Yet tuition should not govern private universities, he added. “Universities with lower tuition fees attract more students, meaning that nobody is focusing on quality.”
He also believes that the era of students’ pursuit of universities is over and universities must now market themselves to students. “We contracted with one private university to study why students were reluctant to apply to pharmacy and engineering colleges.”
In his wide-ranging conversation with Al-Fanar Media, El-Ghor touched on several other matters of concern for private universities.