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Towards more employable Egyptian HE graduates – a case study

Amal Abou-Setta (Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK)

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues

ISSN: 1753-7983

Article publication date: 28 October 2014




The unemployment rate in Egypt has reached 24.8 per cent of the labor force and is significantly higher among university graduates. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between Higher Education (HE) and employability in Egypt and to ask these pressing questions: How do students perceive the relationship? What are its main problems? What are the changes required to help improve the relationship from their own perspective?


Offering an in-depth analysis of a case study of an Egyptian public university by interviewing four Egyptian HE students either in their final or their second-to-last year of study, this paper attempts to decipher the Egyptian HE students’ attitudes towards quality education and employability as an ultimate purpose. It also offers a macroscopic view of the necessary changes to make HE graduates more employable.


The paper argues that, for effective HE reform to take place in Egypt, radical, comprehensive changes pertaining to programme design, curricula, assessment, pedagogy and admissions are called for, taking into account the contextual political, economic and cultural conditions.


Although there is a considerable amount of research literature examining the significant discrepancy between university graduates’ educational gains and the functional requirements of the job market (Allen and De Weert 2007), not much of that research has examined the way graduates understand and manage their employability in light of the recent changes in both HE and the job market and the few studies focusing on this were mainly conducted in the Western world (Al-Harthi 2011).



Abou-Setta, A. (2014), "Towards more employable Egyptian HE graduates – a case study", Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 229-244.



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