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Toronto Metropolitan University–Cairo Puts Hold on Admitting New Students

After putting a hold on admitting new students, Toronto Metropolitan University–Cairo reportedly has offered the 39 students enrolled the opportunity to complete their studies in Toronto, Canada.

Mohamed Lachemi, president and vice-chancellor of Toronto Metropolitan University in Canada, released a statement early Friday announcing the decision to halt admissions of new students to the one-year-old Cairo branch “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

Lachemi gave no further explanation in his brief statement, saying only: “The university has made the difficult decision to not admit new students to programs at TMU-Cairo. As a university that is committed to extending a high-quality, student-centred education to a larger international audience, this was a very difficult decision to make.”

He added: “Senior leaders from TMU are in Egypt to meet with the 39 students who are currently enrolled to hear their concerns, and to determine the best pathways to ensure that they are able to continue and complete their education.”

Options for Students in Canada and Egypt

The Toronto Star, a newspaper in Canada, reported that Toronto Metropolitan University had offered the students the option of completing their studies in Toronto, promising to waive tuition and provide $10,000 to help cover the cost of their transition.

TMU–Cairo said nothing about the current situation. Al-Fanar Media contacted the university and the Universities of Canada in Egypt, which hosts TMU–Cairo and the University of Prince Edward Island’s Cairo branch, but neither responded.

“As a university that is committed to extending a high-quality, student-centred education to a larger international audience, this was a very difficult decision to make.”

— Mohamed Lachemi, president and vice-chancellor of Toronto Metropolitan University in Canada.

According to the Toronto Star’s report, “TMU students who had expected to return to Universities of Canada in Egypt (UCE) this September have been told they can complete their fall semester online and then travel to Toronto in time for in-person classes in January. For those who prefer to remain in Egypt, TMU will help find them a local alternative for their education and will cover tuition comparable to that paid to UCE.”

A university spokesperson told the Star that ensuring students can continue their education was the university’s top priority. “Our reputation is based on providing quality education to our students,” the spokesperson said. “If we can’t deliver education that meets our standards, we need to reassess and pivot.”

The newspaper also reported that the university had said that those who elect to study in Toronto will receive a stipend of $2,500 per month for the first full winter semester (totaling $10,000) to help cover such costs as travel and housing.

No Comment from Egyptian Officials

Al-Fanar Media tried to contact officials from the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to learn more about the reasons behind the Canadian university’s decision and what steps the ministry was taking to support the students. Neither Mohamed Helmy El Ghor, secretary general of the Council of Private Universities, nor Mohamed Ghanem, head of the Central Administration of the Councils Secretariat, responded.

According to the ministry, Egypt has 95 universities, including seven international branch campuses in the New Administrative Capital, 27 private universities, and 20 national universities, in addition to state and technological universities.

TMU–Cairo, previously known as Ryerson–Canada, started classes in September 2022, with programmes in fashion, media production and sport media, as well as several engineering disciplines.

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