The education system of Egypt differs in high extent of centralization, it is subdivided into three stages:
Basic education (Arab. , At-taaly al-asasi)
Secondary education (Arab. At-taalim of an at-tanaua)
the higher education (Arab. At-taaly al-gamai)
According to the Law on free compulsory education of 1981, all Egyptians aged from 6 till 14 years have to have the basic education including initial and preparatory steps. Further education depends on a possibility of pupils.
The national education system of the Arab Republic of Egypt is under authority of the Ministry of Education. The education system of Egypt includes three main steps:
primary education, lasting six years;
secondary education (the general and professional) lasting from three to six years;
the higher education lasting from two to seven years.
In school children at the age of 6 years are accepted. Training at school is obligatory till 12 years. The general duration of full general secondary education makes 12 years.
For continuation of study after the termination of elementary school the pupil has to pass through system of difficult examinations successfully. Only about a half of graduates of elementary school continue training at high school. A smaller number of youth goes to the universities.
The higher education
The higher school of Egypt includes more than 150 educational institutions differing on the level and a profile of training of specialists. It unites universities and specialized institutes, and also more than 100 teacher training colleges, the technical schools and institutes which are carrying out training of specialists at the level of secondary vocational education.
As the independent link of training of specialists secondary vocational education in Egypt is absent.
The educational institutions which are carrying out preparation at the level of vocational education upon termination of two-three years of training issue the diploma with the indication of specialty and appropriate the corresponding qualification.
Inclusion in universities and institutes is carried out taking into account a profile of school preparation.
In institutes persons with certificates on full average vocational training on condition of successful delivery of entrance examinations are accepted. Along with the graduates who finished average general education and professional educational institutions, in higher educational institutions graduates of normal schools are accepted.
A key role in training of specialists with the higher education is played by universities at which more than 80% of all students are trained. The education given at the Egyptian universities uses recognition in other Arab countries and therefore universities of Egypt annually accept on training of students from neighboring countries.
In universities of Egypt the persons having the certificate on the full secondary general education at estimates on specialist subjects not less than 75-90% of the maximum point are accepted. Entrance examinations are in some cases taken.
At 14 state universities more than 700 thousand students are trained. Besides, the American university in Cairo founded by Presbyterian missionaries and Academy of natural sciences and technologies work.
The largest universities – Cairo, Ayn-Shama, the Alexandria and Muslim al-Azkhar. The last is based in 10 century and is one of the Muslim universities, oldest in the world. The first modern secular university of Egypt is the Cairo university founded in 1907. Along with the state universities in the country there are tens of pedagogical, technical, commercial and agricultural higher educational institutions. In 1996 four private universities opened doors.
Education at universities consists of three consecutive stages.
The first stage – the main on which general scientific and all-vocational training is carried out comes to the end with award of degree of the bachelor and issue of the corresponding diploma with the indication of a profile of training. Training duration for specialties of a humanitarian profile makes four years, natural-science and engineering – five years. The bachelor’s degree of medicine is issued after seven years of study in the specialty. Level of other documents on the termination of higher educational institutions is defined in relation to the bachelor’s degree. So, to the bachelor’s degree diplomas of the highest teacher training colleges, separate institutes of a pedagogical profile, and also the Highest institute of planning are recognized equivalent.
The second and third grade levels at universities belong to postdegree education.
The second stage – specialization and individual research work – lasts not less than two years after obtaining the bachelor’s degree. The first year is, as a rule, devoted to studying of theoretical disciplines, the second – carrying out researches. The stage comes to the end with assignment of degree of the master. The persons having degree of the bachelor can gain after one year of additional preparation the diploma about specialization in a certain professional area.
The third stage of university education lasting not less than two years after completion of study in a magistracy is specialization deepening. Results of the scientific researches executed in the period of the third stage are made out in the form of the doctoral dissertation and protected in a specialized academic council. Protection comes to the end with award of degree of the doctor of philosophy with the indication of a profile of preparation.
Degree of the doctor can be received not less, than in two years after award of degree of the master at humanitarian, commercial pharmaceutical, engineering and natural-science faculties. At law department degree of the Doctor of Law is awarded after two years of preparation on the basis of the diploma about specialization.
At natural-science faculty, except the listed above degrees of the master and doctor of philosophy, preparation at the level of the doctor of science with not less than ten-year term of preparation is carried out.
Universities of Egypt realize educational programs of university education of all levels, providing the country with experts, engineers and experts in various areas of life. They train both public servants, and the experts owning modern methods of research.
Universities are considered as sources of revival of the Arab culture and formation of national identity. Against intensive cultural development and scientific contacts with universities and educational institutes of other countries the government provides independence of universities.
Each university has the budget and is operated by council headed by the president of university. There is also the Supreme Council of universities headed by the Minister of the higher education. The famous public figures and experts in various areas which form policy of university education and scientific researches are a part of this Council except presidents of universities, coordinate interuniversity programs, annually define an order of reception of entrants in universities.
At the state educational institutes formation of any level is free.