GUC anniversary, 10 years scholarship programme GERLS/GERSS, meetings with high officials of Egypt’s scientific world, dinner with startups: The schedule in Cairo has been a blast.

The success of the biggest German TNB project is highlighted by the long duration of this year’s graduation ceremonies: The German University in Cairo (GUC) celebrated the graduation of 2000 graduates along 3 consecutive days.

In this context, Prof. Dr. Wintermantel, DAAD President and Dr. Rüland, DAAD Secretary General, together with a former Egyptian Prime Minister and the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education held impressive speeches in the festive graduation ceremony that was celebrated with music and fireworks.

Moreover, the GUC celebrated its 15th anniversary this year and appointed a new rector. GUC founder Prof. Mansour bid farewell to former rector Prof. Abdel Kader and welcomed his successor Prof. Hegazi.

As experience shows, GUC graduates have an exceptional employability, locally and worldwide. During a project, that GUC conducted in cooperation with the University of Marburg, some of them got prepared for founding a startup. Some of these young entrepreneurs and some others who are mentored by DAAD alumnus Dr. Khaled Ismail had the chance to meet with DAAD president, Prof. Wintermantel, to introduce their projects. They also discussed the roles of universities and families in the success of young entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is currently a big topic in the Arabic region as it provides young professionals new chances in an environment that is shaped by high youth unemployment.

Furthermore, Prof. Wintermantel and Dr. Rüland had fruitful discussions about the current strategies of Egyptian universities and research institutions with 14 high-ranking officials, among them the Vice Minister for Research, University Presidents and Vice Presidents, the President of the Egyptian Accreditation Council, the Director of STDF, and Counsellors of Ministers. As already deliberated with the Minister of Higher Education the day before, it became clear that the Egyptian representatives hope for further development of the cooperation with Germany, especially in the fields of capacity building and joint research.

Those whose background is partially shaped or will be shaped by the German-Egyptian exchange were the main players of the last event of the weekend: The alumni and the soon leaving scholars of the GERLS (long-term) and GERSS (short-term) scholarships. These scholarships were introduced ten years ago and are co-financed by the DAAD and the Egyptian government. On the panel Dr. Rüland met Prof. Hany Helal, former Egyptian Minister of Higher Education who expressed his hopes that bilateral centers of expertise will be established as a next step of the successful cooperation.