OpenMed Torino Week: Spotlight on Open Education in Egypt
Open Education (Learning) in Egypt; Past & FutureOpen Education (Learning) in Egypt; Past & Future
An Assessment and an Approach to ImprovementsAn Assessment and an Approach to Improvements
Why Open Education in Egypt?Why Open Education in Egypt?
• The increase in the number of students seeking higherThe increase in the number of students seeking higher
• The Government strategy to absorb about 40% of youthThe Government strategy to absorb about 40% of youth
between the age of 18-23 in higher education.between the age of 18-23 in higher education.
• Limited capacity of governmental universities.Limited capacity of governmental universities.
• Limited ability to establish new governmental universities.Limited ability to establish new governmental universities.
• The high cost for students to join private universities.The high cost for students to join private universities.
• Government responsibility to make education available toGovernment responsibility to make education available to
every one.every one.
• Providing a best quality of higher educationProviding a best quality of higher education
Historical BackgroundHistorical Background
• In 1990In 1990, the first distance learning program was, the first distance learning program was
established at Alexandria University. It wasestablished at Alexandria University. It was
meant to follow the methodology of the Openmeant to follow the methodology of the Open
University of UK.University of UK.
• The main philosophy was to make educationThe main philosophy was to make education
available to every one without geographical oravailable to every one without geographical or
time boundaries.time boundaries.
• A year later,A year later, Cairo University and Ain ShamsCairo University and Ain Shams
University established their own open learningUniversity established their own open learning
• CurrentlyCurrently, there are open learning programs at all, there are open learning programs at all
governmental universities in the fields ofgovernmental universities in the fields of business,business,
law, literature, mass communication, tourism andlaw, literature, mass communication, tourism and
hospitality management, social work, education,hospitality management, social work, education,
agriculture, and fine arts.agriculture, and fine arts.
• In 2007,In 2007, the Egyptian e-Learning University wasthe Egyptian e-Learning University was
established and started its operations in 2009 withestablished and started its operations in 2009 with
two programs: Computer and Informationtwo programs: Computer and Information
Technology, and Business AdministrationTechnology, and Business Administration
Positive Aspects of the Current SystemPositive Aspects of the Current System
• Makes education available for thousands ofMakes education available for thousands of
students who are welling to complete their higherstudents who are welling to complete their higher
• It adds to financial resources of universities.It adds to financial resources of universities.
Negative Aspects of the Current SystemNegative Aspects of the Current System
• The lack of vision and clear ILOs in most programs,The lack of vision and clear ILOs in most programs,
and emphasis is placed on programs as a source ofand emphasis is placed on programs as a source of
• Using the traditional lecturing strategy withUsing the traditional lecturing strategy with
printed material instead of OERs made theprinted material instead of OERs made the
programs similar to regular education programs.programs similar to regular education programs.
• Ignoring continued education.Ignoring continued education.
• Limited capacities at most universities to supportLimited capacities at most universities to support
development of OERsdevelopment of OERs
• Most programs lack the practical component.Most programs lack the practical component.
• Lack of communication between students andLack of communication between students and
• Assessment of student’s performance is based onAssessment of student’s performance is based on
a single exam at the end of the semester.a single exam at the end of the semester.
• Degraded social view of the open learningDegraded social view of the open learning
Alternative Approaches Considered toAlternative Approaches Considered to
Improve the Current SituationImprove the Current Situation
Makes learning available across boundaries.Makes learning available across boundaries.
Lack of direct communication between students andLack of direct communication between students and
instructors and the academic environment.instructors and the academic environment.
1.1. Blended LearningBlended Learning
E-Learning (Virtual Learning)E-Learning (Virtual Learning)
• The SCU has decided to adopt a blended learningThe SCU has decided to adopt a blended learning
strategy with emphasis on learning outcomesstrategy with emphasis on learning outcomes..
Actions Taken - 1Actions Taken - 1
• In 2015, the SCU has made a decision that allIn 2015, the SCU has made a decision that all
universities have to stop accepting students inuniversities have to stop accepting students in
their existing open learning programs starting thetheir existing open learning programs starting the
academic year 2015/2016.academic year 2015/2016.
• Universities were encouraged to establish one orUniversities were encouraged to establish one or
two-year professional blended learning programstwo-year professional blended learning programs
for students who are welling to get a diploma infor students who are welling to get a diploma in
their fields after the high school. Such programstheir fields after the high school. Such programs
were to start in September 2016.were to start in September 2016.
• Universities were also encouraged to submit newUniversities were also encouraged to submit new
undergraduate programs to start in Septemberundergraduate programs to start in September
2017, after approval by the SCU.2017, after approval by the SCU.
• Some universities have submitted programs thatSome universities have submitted programs that
are currently subject to evaluation.are currently subject to evaluation.
Actions Taken - 2
• Recognizing the insufficiency of the ICT
infrastructure at many Egyptian universities, the
SCU has decided in June 2016 to establish a
national technical support center for distance
learning (NCDL) to be a service provider to all
universities, to reduce the cost and maintain the
quality of the learning process.
• In the mean time, each university is to establish a
distance learning center that runs its programs in
coordination with the national center for distance
• A technical committee has been formed by the
SCU to suggest the rules and set the requirements
for starting new programs (technical, spatial, and
• Open educational sources will be considered to
support the SCU strategy.
The Role of the NCDL
• Prepares a matrix of courses that can be used to
form different programs that satisfy required ILOs
and meet international standards.
• Makes the course matrix available to universities
to prepare their own programs following the
National Accreditation Standards.
• Prepares, in coordination with the universities,
course material in printed, digital, and televised
forms using experts in each field
• Makes the material for each program available on
the Internet and on the educational satellite
• Prepares test banks for all available courses.
• Charges each university for the service provided
based on the number of courses and the number
of students registered in each course.
Advantages to universities
• Establishing a service provider helps improve theEstablishing a service provider helps improve the
quality of the learning process through:quality of the learning process through:
• Making available a matrix of courses based onMaking available a matrix of courses based on
blended learning and meet the internationalblended learning and meet the international
distance learning standards.distance learning standards.
• Preparing, in coordination with universities, thePreparing, in coordination with universities, the
educational materials (printed, digital, andeducational materials (printed, digital, and
televised) in high quality and low cost due to thetelevised) in high quality and low cost due to the
economies of scale.economies of scale.
• Preparation of test banks for the chosen courses.Preparation of test banks for the chosen courses.
• Training faculty members, students, andTraining faculty members, students, and
administrators on using the portal that supportsadministrators on using the portal that supports
blended learning (Capacity Building).blended learning (Capacity Building).
• Allows flexibility for colleges to prepare its ownAllows flexibility for colleges to prepare its own
programs in different fields and interdisciplinaryprograms in different fields and interdisciplinary
programs. Students can choose to take doubleprograms. Students can choose to take double
major or a major and a minor depending on his/hermajor or a major and a minor depending on his/her
• Allows for continuing education programs.Allows for continuing education programs.
• Each college maintains it independence in choosingEach college maintains it independence in choosing
the programs that are suitable for its communitythe programs that are suitable for its community
Advantages to Faculty Members
1.1. Capacity building in ICT.Capacity building in ICT.
2.2. Saving the time needed to prepare the educationalSaving the time needed to prepare the educational
materials for each course, allowing more time formaterials for each course, allowing more time for
3.3. The availability of test banks help instructors writingThe availability of test banks help instructors writing
exams on more scientific bases to better assessexams on more scientific bases to better assess
students performance.students performance.
4.4. The proposed approach allows faculty members toThe proposed approach allows faculty members to
propose new programs and new courses, it encouragespropose new programs and new courses, it encourages
Advantages to Students
1.1. Makes available learning programs that areMakes available learning programs that are
flexible and of high quality to allow student toflexible and of high quality to allow student to
choose his/her education load each semester.choose his/her education load each semester.
2.2. Provides low-cost education opportunity forProvides low-cost education opportunity for
3.3. Use of ICT enhances student’s skills, and helpsUse of ICT enhances student’s skills, and helps
student to get a better opportunity in the jobstudent to get a better opportunity in the job
1.1. Students can choose to study in either Arabic orStudents can choose to study in either Arabic or
English if a university elects to provide programsEnglish if a university elects to provide programs
in the two languages. This allows for betterin the two languages. This allows for better
opportunity in the job market.opportunity in the job market.
2.2. Engages students in a virtual learningEngages students in a virtual learning
environment based on information economicsenvironment based on information economics
enhances students’ capabilities and motivatesenhances students’ capabilities and motivates
them to continue their education.them to continue their education.
OPENING UP EDUCATION
IN SOUTH-MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES
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