A law regulating the Establishment of Branches of Foreign Universities in Egypt was issued under no. 162 for 2018 and came into force in August 2018 (the "Law").
The Law comes as part of the Egyptian Government’s endeavor to develop and improve the quality of higher education and scientific research. It aims at facilitating the procedures and streamlining the licensing requirement for establishing a branch of a foreign university. Moreover, a branch is granted a number of guarantees and incentives to ensure independence, efficiency and quality education. The branch shall also enjoy all investment guarantees and incentives stipulated in the Investment Law No. 72 of 2017
Establishing a branch of a foreign university in Egypt previously required the conclusion of an international treaty between Egypt and the home country of the concerned university. Each branch was subject to the provisions of its own convention. Moreover, the Private and Public Universities Law No. 12 of 2009 was mandating that the majority of the owners of a private university must be Egyptian nationals which used to pose another barrier for foreign universities to establish branches in Egypt.
Under the new Law, a foreign university can establish its own branch in Egypt; agree with an educational institute in Egypt to host the branch, or to inter into a partnership with an Egyptian university to grant a joint degree.
In case of establishing its own branch, the parent university shall be responsible for establishing and equipping the branch and bearing the operation costs thereof, or to enter into an agreement with the Ministry of Higher Education or any Egyptian natural or legal person to carry out such work.
The Branch shall be charged a one-off fee of a maximum of 5% of the estimated budget approved for the establishment of the Branch in addition to an annual fee of 2% of the total tuition fees.
A fund called the "Care Fund for Faculty Members" shall be established for the purpose of funding the health care and social welfare of faculty members and their assistants in Egyptian universities.
Privileges and Facilities
The Law provides for a number of privileges and facilities for the branch, where the Egyptian state guarantees them the following:
- Guarantee academic and institutional independence and freedom.
- Grant facilities, privileges, permits and licenses necessary to commence activity, including permits for faculty members and employees of the Branch to perform their work.
- Provide, at the Branch's own expense, a land which shall be suitable in terms of location and space for the construction of buildings, and enough to meet its needs for future expansions.
- Facilitate the procedures of accrediting the academic degrees awarded by the branch in accordance with the provisions of the Universities Organization Law promulgated by Law No. 49 of 1972.
Branches are obliged to abide by the following provisions:
- Inform the Ministry of Higher Education of its curricula to ensure that it conforms to the curricula taught at the mother university or to be accredited by them. In case of disagreement, the approval of the Minister of Higher Education is required.
- Guarantee that the rules of acceptance of students in the branch to be subject to the same rules of admission of students at the mother university.
- Disclose the names of the non-Egyptian candidates for faculty or administrative leadership positions and obtain the approval of the Minister of Higher Education thereon before their recruitment.
- Ensure that the percentage of Egyptian students enrolled in a program in which a degree is awarded shall not be less than half of the total number of enrolled students.
- Use of faculty members and experiences from the mother university or others who have the same standards required to teach at the mother university.
- Ensure that the certificates granted by the university must be issued by the mother university and with the same scientific qualification as the corresponding colleges at the mother university.
- Ensure that the Branch will be subject to the same standards of quality and accreditation in the country of the headquarters of the mother university.
- Allocate an appropriate number of scholarships annually to the students, faculty members and their assistants to study or train at the mother university.
- Submit to the Minister of Higher Education a five-year plan including in particular its vision of the number of students expected to be accepted, tuition expenses, future expansions and activities of the community branch.
- Obtain the approval of the Minister of Higher Education on any agreements concluded with non-Egyptian parties related to the conduct of the educational or research process.