Breaking new ground: The German University in Cairo (GUC)
The Universität Stuttgart and Universität Ulm are the patron universities of a bold new project: in October 2003 a private Egyptian university founded on the German university model opened its doors to about 900 students. The initiator of this project, Prof. Ashraf Mansour, knows the German university system first-hand: he received his PhD and postdoctoral thesis at the Universität Ulm.
The GUC offers study programs in science and technology including Information Engineering & Technology, Media Engineering & Technology, Engineering & Materials Science, Pharmacy & Biotechnology, and Management Technology. Enrollment figures aim for 1000 new admissions each year. The teaching language is English but German classes are mandatory to foster the exchange of students.
What - other than language instruction - is German about this university?
For one, the curricula have been exported: they were developed at the German patron universities and adapted to Egyptian needs. Another German element is the traditional combination of teaching and research. This will be pursued in close cooperation with the German partners with the aim of establishing self-sustaining structures in the long run.
In addition, staffing policies provide an opportunity for Germany to get involved: half of the academic staff is to be German or foreigners trained in Germany. To this end, there are annual job announcements in Germany and the recruitment process is coordinated in Ulm and Stuttgart. Egyptian staff are trained at the partner institutions where they receive an introduction to the German university system.
Educational export as a trend
The activities of the German partner universities are supported within the program "Export of German degree courses" by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). At present, 29 projects are supported through this program that is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) . Further support comes from the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of the State of Baden-Württemberg (MWK) and the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Science and Humanities.
Global competition for foreign educational markets has been dominated by the United States, Britain and Australia. The newly introduced DAAD-program "Export of German degree courses" aims to strengthen the German presence in the international arena and make the German university system accessible in more ways than just through the traditional exchange of students.
As the largest of these new export programs, the GUC serves as a model project for this new trend. Through their cooperation, the Universität Stuttgart and Universität Ulm aim to gain access to the Egyptian educational market. At the same time, the partnership promotes the image of the State of Baden-Württemberg and Germany at large as a prime educational and business location. In the long run, the German partners expect to benefit from this relationship by receiving highly qualified graduates who will form the basis for a vivid exchange.