The Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education organized the three days forum under the patronage of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The event was part of the presidential announcement of 2019 as the “Year of Education”. In the light of this declaration, various changes in the Egyptian educational system have already been made, for instance the establishment of a new educational system for pre-schools and first grad students. Regarding higher education, the Global Forum took place in the New Capital, the very place where new universities will be built with the aim of a profound internationalization of the Egyptian higher education system.
The Global Forum was inaugurated by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi who stressed the importance of the fourth industrial – digital – revolution in Egypt. The significance of digitalization in the field of education was further underlined by the presence of influential global players of the economic sector like Cisco and Huawei that could offer a wide range of practical orientation.
Next to other international organizations and institutions in the field of higher education as well as various universities, the DAAD was represented at a booth under the aegis of the European Union alongside the Embassy of France and the Embassy of Italy.
Various panel discussions gave insight into the different opportunities and challenges in higher education in Egypt. Prof. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research lead the first panel discussion on the possibilities of universities and research institutions in the preparation of the fourth industrial revolution. Among other high-profile guests were a large number of Egyptian university presidents as well as Amr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Yuichiro Anzai, Advisor of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, V. Ramgopal Rao, Director of IIT Delhi, Andrew Balas, Professor and Lead of the Biomedical Research Innovation Laboratory at Augusta University, Guy Diedrich, Vice President and Global Innovation Officer at Cisco Systems, and Andrew Williamson, Vice President Strategy at Huawei Technologies.
The DAAD Deputy Secretary General Christian Müller participated with a presentation in the second panel on “The Role of the International Partners, Private Sector & Civil Society in Higher Education and Scientific Research”.
In his presentation, Mr. Müller illustrated the DAAD Strategy and emphasised on DAAD’s view on internationalisation, the current major issues and today’s challenges on international Higher Education like for example:
- Changing mobility
- Changing demographics
- Societal impact
- Benefits of internationalisation in Higher Education and Research
- Employability and applied sciences
- Transnational Education
- The digital turn
The Global Forum is planned to be held every two years in the future to bring together important national and international contributors in the field of higher education and scientific research.