The six member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have witnessed a significant jump in the quality of education since only the 1970s—becoming sovereign because of boom in oil resources and petrodollar prevalence—to the extent that the level of their higher education system nearly fulfills all Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) standards. Among successful criteria undertaken by the most GCC universities are establishing partnerships with other foreign universities in developed countries and following international organizations’, such as UNESCO and the World Bank, recommendations by focusing on establishing knowledge economies in line with globalization. Looking into the GCC success stories, the focus of this research paper is Egypt, after the country’s last revolution on January 25, 2011. The Arab Republic of Egypt has a strategic location worldwide, is a vital peace keeper, especially in the Middle East and the Arab region, and has a rich oriental heritage: cultural, social, and traditional, in addition to its unique pharaonic history. Suggested selection of some tools of assessment would be elaborated in the Methodology section to assess the quality of national tertiary education. This chapter aimed at generally highlighting some aspects of evolution of national post-secondary system during the last two decades in an effort to come up with findings and recommendations to promote country’s higher education system. As in many other developing countries, in Egypt the university constitutes a social and political hope, and is one of the pillars of social mobility and economic development for the country. However, professional endeavors are repeatedly turned down in finding a suitable job or at least entering the labor market, resulting in a rise in unemployment rate. This is due to, on the one hand, the nature of the labor market, hence the fact that the supply of graduates exceeds the market demand for them, and on the other hand, the negatively affected quality of higher education, especially in the public sector, mainly being overloaded, which produces weak qualified potential employees. This—among other factors—contributes to the downfall of country’s economy. Many who graduate from a stronger private system encounter difficulties in either being classified as overqualified, and hence get refused and are unemployed, or are placed in a position that under evaluates their capabilities, and hence with time lose enthusiasm or escape (brain drain). In conclusion, conducting a comparison between Egypt’s private and public universities, as expected beforehand, would be in favor of the former because of having better facilities and qualified faculty, earning higher salaries, in addition to the use of advanced equipment and technology in academic research. Therefore, this research intended to expand in future the comparison to include other countries from the Middle East and North Africa region—similar to Egypt in its economic and social compositions—for mutual benefits of learning from the best practices and successful models.
Shafei, A. (2018), "The Quality of Higher Education in the Arab Region: Which Tools of Assessment to Use", Wiseman, A. and Davidson, P. (Ed.) Cross-nationally Comparative, Evidence-based Educational Policymaking and Reform (International Perspectives on Education and Society, Vol. 35), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 47-70. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-367920180000035003Download as .RIS
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