Egyptian students who studied at Sudanese universities and managed to escape the war-torn country will be able to resume their studies in their homeland if they meet the entry requirements of private and national universities, Mohamed Ayman Ashour, Egypt’s minister of higher education and scientific research, announced on 4 May 2023.
To prepare Egyptian students for transfer to private and national universities in Egypt, they were requested to complete an online form indicating their personal information, the level of their university studies (under- or post-graduate), their specialisations and the name of their Sudanese university.
Approximately 4,000 students were registered, according to a statement issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Emigration and Expatriate Affairs (MEEF) on 4 May 2023.
The MEEF statement also noted that most of the Egyptian students have been evacuated and returned to Egypt, including two injured students, engineering student Mona Awad and dentistry student Mahmoud Atef. They were wounded by shrapnel from shells in the military clashes in Sudan.
A diabetic medical student, Saber Nasr El-Din, died on 23 April 2023 because he could not get an insulin dose at a pharmacy or hospital. He was buried in Sudan after efforts to secure safe passage to Egypt failed.
How will the placement work?
The Egyptian students will be transferred to private and national universities in Egypt that offer programmes and qualifications similar to those they studied for in Sudan, subject to specific rules.
These rules are based on a 2011 decision issued by the president of the supreme council of the armed forces. It stipulates that the minister of higher education and scientific research may, in cases of extreme necessity and unforeseen circumstances, transfer the Egyptian students from universities outside Egypt to a corresponding faculty in Egyptian universities even if the students did not meet the minimum requirement for a general secondary certificate or its equivalent.
Students’ general secondary certificates will be considered, and courses taken at the Sudanese universities will be compared to those at the Egyptian institutions they want to join.
Egypt’s Supreme Council of Universities automatically recognises the degrees awarded by several Sudanese universities.
Entry test may be required
To determine the academic placement level for Egyptian students who come from unaccredited Sudanese universities, evaluation tests will be required. Based on the results, the students will be directed to a specific academic year. Students will have to spend at least a full academic year at the university where they are placed.
The students should apply directly to the university they intend to transfer to by submitting proof of residence in Sudan, proof of enrolment in a Sudanese university in the academic year 2021-22, and a certificate of the degree programmes and their scientific content to determine the academic level. National and private Egyptian universities are to reserve 10% of available space in faculties for transfer students.
Available places at universities will be posted according to the capacity of each university to allow students to be transferred there. The Nile University has opened admission for Egyptian students who were studying in Sudan. On 2 May 2023, Al Salam University announced special scholarships for Egyptian students studying abroad in countries experiencing tension and unrest, including Sudan. Students can apply online.
Academic community welcomes decision
Professor Hamed Ead, who is based in the faculty of science at Cairo University and the former cultural counsellor at the Egyptian Embassy in Morocco, told University World News: “The rules to re-enrol the Egyptian students currently studying in Sudan are quite enough and fair.”
The rules consider students’ right to university access to protect their academic future – especially under emergency conditions and exceptional circumstances, and, at the same time, protect Egyptian universities’ standards.
Professor Ahmed El-Gohary, the former president of the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology, said: “The Egyptian government took an excellent decision. The decision is balanced, supporting the Egyptian students studying in Sudan under humanitarian crisis, and it is quite fair one for the higher education system in Egypt as well as all the stakeholders.”
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