Under the umbrella of the American University in Cairo’s (AUC) celebrations of its centennial, the university held a roundtable discussion to elaborate on the achievements it has marked over the past decade, and the challenges the board aims to overcome.
Titled ‘AUC: A new century, future plans and priorities,’ the discussion witnessed the participation of the AUC President, Francis Ricciardone, the AUC Counsellor, Ashraf Hatem, and the AUC Provost, Ehab Abdel Rahman.
In their speeches, all three tackled the support the university provides its students which has been ongoing for years, and plans of continuing it, especially after the floatation and the affect it had on the financial situation of the students and the university.
Ricciardone said that the AUC provides all of its students with a subsidy that lifts up to 25% of the fees they are required to have. “When counting it elsewise, almost 50% of our students have a full scholarship,” he explained.
Nonetheless, Ricciardone affirmed that the university is within the right financial track, with the support of the fund they get from the United States government, and a number of organisations and entities that share the university’s same goal of “investing in the future.” He further described the AUC’s financial status quo as “healthy but not wealthy.”
Moreover, he elaborated that after the floatation, the university granted extra financial support in order to lift some of the burden from students who prove they are hard workers.
“As the American University in Cairo, we have our budget in US dollars, and most of our professors are foreigners, so we cannot work elsewise. Yet, we provide our students with the support they need in case of showing they are not capable of fully securing their college fees,” he shared.
Other than the enrolled students of Egypt’s number one elite university, the discussion tackled the collaborations the AUC has with several other governments in order to help other students make use of the knowledge they believe “belongs to Egypt,” according to Ricciardone.
For his side, Hatem said that the university signed an agreement with the ministry of planning, monitoring, and administrative reform in order to intensively train government employees as part of preparing them to relocate to the New Administrative Capital.
The training programme includes two months of training at the AUC, followed by one month of intensive training at the King’s College, London University.
As a part of supporting government university students, Hatem added that the AUC signed an agreement with Ain Shams University as a part of student exchange programme with a number of international universities.
As for the University Centre for Career Development (UCCD) programme, which aims to provide government university’ students with required knowledge and skills for the job market, he asserted that the board has put all of their efforts in order to plan the project well for them to overcome the bureaucracy of governmental institutions.
The project targets establishing 20 UCCD units at 12 public universities in Upper Egypt, the Delta, and the greater Cairo area, with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It is to remain under the supervision of the AUC for four years through which they plan to develop the skills of around 1 million Egyptian students.
Abdel Rahman’s comprehensive discussion explained that the AUC’s global ranking jumped 25 places last year, to become the 395th among the top 400 best universities in the QS World University Rankings.