Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and Canada’s University of Ottawa have signed a cooperation agreement to offer a professional Master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering.
The step comes as part of the implementation of the Digital Egypt Builders initiative, with students scheduled to start studying in the programme in May, as part of the spring semester of 2021.
Students will study in one of several majors, covering artificial intelligence (AI), data science, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cybersecurity.
Amr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said that the signing comes less than three months after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Ottawa.
This would ensure cooperation will be implemented through clear steps as part of an action plan that achieves mutual benefit and contributes to strengthening the efforts of the Digital Egypt Builders Initiative.
Talaat added that new specialisations to be offered within the initiative include financial technology, digital arts, and electronic design. These will provide opportunities for cooperation and coordination with new colleges, with Talaat expressing his aspiration to cooperate with the University of Ottawa in these areas within the initiative.
ITIDA’s CEO Amr Mahfouz said that investing in young Egyptian talents is of great importance to create a base of competencies. These would be capable of keeping pace with the requirements of the local and global markets.
It would enhance efforts to promote Egypt as a main destination for information technology services to various global markets and attract more foreign investment.
Hoda Baraka, advisor to the Minister of Communications and Information Technology for Technological Skills Development, said that according to the agreement, members of the Canadian university’s academic staff will teach, guide, and evaluate the academic students of the programme.
The university will also provide the administrative staff of the Digital Egypt Builders initiative involved in supporting students with access to a digital copy of the programme materials.
The Initiative will be responsible for providing all the necessary logistical and administrative supplies and technical assistance at the initiative’s headquarters in Egypt, to enable students to access and implement the academic programme.
The University of Ottawa’s College of Engineering offers an online Master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering, which consists of 27 credit hours that are offered in English in three semesters over a year.
The first batch of the programme will start next May, with the following batches will follow in May of each year until the last batch of the programme. This will continue until the studies in the programme come to an end in April 2024.
The application period for the spring semester of 2021 was opened last November, with more than 400 students enrolling. After passing the admission tests and personal interviews to join the study, 110 students were selected from various governorates.
The study began in the spring semester of 2021 on the first of last February with leadership, management and language skills programmes, as well as training programmes provided by international companies, namely AWS, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, and VMWare.
The study programmes are currently being made available to students via the Internet, due to the precautionary measures taken by the government to confront the pandemic.
This is provided that studies begin at the initiative’s headquarters in Cairo on 23 March, and the initiative also announced the opening of registration for the new semester of summer 2021, starting from 10 March.