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December has seen the appointment of a new Higher Education Minister in Egypt. Dr. Hussein Moustafa Moussa Khaled is a former vice-president of Cairo University. He is the newest in a series of appointments to the post as a result of various government reshuffles occurring in Egypt since the breakdown of the Mubarak regime earlier this year. Violent clashes between students and security forces, strikes of academic staff, demands for radical changes in the leadership at Egyptian universities and other serious challenges have marked the university landscape in Egypt in recent months and continue to threaten its sustainability since the unfolding of the Arab Spring (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, October 2011).
In his new capacity, Dr. Hussein Khaled will first need to re-establish good relations between all stakeholders, such as lecturers and students, and get them back into university classrooms. Importantly, he will also need to ensure continuity with the previous initiatives, introduced by his predecessor(s). Examples here include the recent launch of a network of universities and research centres for the country’s planned science city, and the government’s promises to revise regulations for higher education institutions (e.g. student union elections) and efforts to find non-governmental sources of funding for the country’s cash-poor universities.Egypt’s government University World News SciDevNet