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Egypt’s Private Universities Start Offering Graduate Degrees as Job Prospects Worsen

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Applying for a master’s degree at his university helped him avoid the administrative complications of moving to a public university to complete his studies, Sayyid said. “I would also be able to continue studying under the supervision of professors I have known for years,” he added.

He also got to avoid the intense competition for places in graduate programs at public universities, where private university students are often at a disadvantage.

“This move will ease the burden on public universities, which annually receive applications of millions of students who wish to complete their higher studies,” said Maged Negm, president of Helwan University, a public institution, and a member of the Supreme Council of Private Universities.

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Private universities that have started to offer master’s and Ph.D. programs do not require advanced academic credentials for admission, something welcomed by many students.

“I spent five years to get my master’s degree from Al-Azhar University’s Assiut Campus, because this opportunity was not offered at my university,” said Mohammed Mansour, who earned his undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Dentistry at the private Misr University for Science and Technology in 2013.

“The admission requirements were very difficult because I am a private university graduate,” said Mansour, who works in one of the Ministry of Health’s hospitals. “Today, new students have a great opportunity.” 

High Tuition Fees

Despite widespread appreciation of the new decision, students complain about the high tuition fees for master’s and doctoral programs at private universities, which are considerably higher than those their public counterparts.

For example, registration fees for master’s degree programs in theoretical disciplines—subjects that are taught in a classroom rather than an equipped laboratory—at October 6 University and Misr University for Science and Technology cost about 32,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,000), while Ph.D. programs cost 48,000 pounds ($3,000). In practical disciplines, the fees are approximately 60,000 pounds ($3,750) for a master’s degree and 80,000 pounds ($5,000) for a doctorate.

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