DIES Workshop “Evolvement of Entrepreneurial Universities in the MENA Region” 2017
DIES Workshop “Evolvement of Entrepreneurial Universities in the MENA Region” 2017

2-Day DIES Workshop “Evolvement of Entrepreneurial Universities in the MENA Region” successfully conducted

Egyptian university presidents, entrepreneurs as well as experts from quality assurance and accreditation agencies together with German experts in the field of entrepreneurial universities gathered along two days in Cairo to discuss the “Evolvement of Entrepreneurial Universities in the MENA Region”. The workshop put special emphasis on the structures and their implementation in an entrepreneurial university as well as challenges and limitations for the universities of Egypt.

“What is the exact nature of an entrepreneurial university and which characteristics does it embody?”, “What are the management structures of such universities?”, “How can the organization capacity of the entrepreneurial universities be developed?” -  These are only a few of the questions which have been discussed by around 180 experts, entrepreneurs and managerial staff members from Egypt, joined by experts from Germany at the recent DIES workshop at Steigenberger Hotel in Cairo. As more and more universities around the globe are recently attempting to adopt the concepts of entrepreneurial universities, the two-days workshop gave the opportunity to exchange knowledge between stakeholders of the entrepreneurial university landscape.

The first day of the workshop was dedicated to laying a foundation of knowledge and knowledge exchange: After warm welcoming words by Dr Roman Luckscheiter, Director of DAAD Cairo Office, and Ms Rauia Toama of the German Embassy in Egypt, an introduction to the topic was given including the presentations of two pioneer universities: Technical University Berlin from Germany and Nile University from Egypt. Furthermore, the participants were introduced to a self-assessment tool in order to identify the needs and strengths of their institutions. This was followed by a panel discussion on industries’ expectations of academia joined by seven experts from Egyptian companies and scientific research institutes. The second day of the workshop began with an overview of funding opportunities by the DAAD in the field of university cooperation projects by Ms. Gudrun Chazotte Gudrun Chazotte, Senior Desk Manager, Partnership Programmes and Higher Education Management, DAAD Bonn followed by a world café setup dealing with the issue of how to become an entrepreneurial university.

The high interest in the workshop and the professional quality of the different inputs and discussions illustrated the relevance and importance of the topic in Egypt and the Arab World. As Dr Hadia Hamdy from German University Cairo expressed it clearly: “Let´s face it. What we need to do is to address the needs of our students. Entrepreneurial Universities help young entrepreneurs to take the first step and are therefore extremely relevant for our future.”

The Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies (DIES) programme is jointly developed by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Rector’s Conference (HRK). DIES aim at improving the institutional higher education management as well as aligning the higher education systems with the national and regional development goals, to contribute to stronger and more international universities in developing countries in the long run.