Egypt's policy on higher education, the author argues, must take account of the realities of declining government budgets and employment and increasing reliance on the private sector, which must become more competitive internationally. Education in Egypt must increase Egyptians'ability to cope with economic disequilibria: to respond quickly and effectively to changing technological and market opportunities. The Government of Egypt's strategy for achieving this goal is to stabilize the number of university students and raise the quality of instruction. This fundamentally sound strategy, pursued since the mid-1980s, has required considerable courage of policymakers, who are struggling to correct a longtime, inequitable misallocation of educational resources. The Nasser regime greatly expanded higher education and guaranteed jobs to university graduates. As a result of rapidly growing enrollment in the 1970s and 1980s, the quality of education seriously deteriorated. Classes are too big and resources too scarce for anything but professorial salaries, so learning amounts to little more than memorization and repetition. The system does not foster the development of synthesizing, problem-solving, or creative thinking abilities. And with tertiary institutions over-enrolled, academic success requires the use of tutors, whose fees are beyond the reach of students of modest means.
Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Environmental Economics&Policies,Teaching and Learning,Gender and Education,Tertiary Education
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