Roundup: Egypt builds more polytechnic universities amid skilled worker shortage

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CAIRO, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Egypt is building more polytechnic universities to tackle the shortage of skilled technicians and specialized workers, one of the factors that hold the populous country from moving upward the international value chain.

Under the framework of Egypt Vision 2030, a national strategy for sustainable development, the most populous Arab country has founded 10 polytechnic universities in the past two years in the delta, north coast, and in upper Egypt, based on a law issued in 2019 that allows Egypt's public universities to establish nonprofit colleges in partnership with foreign higher institutions.

The Egyptian population is estimated to burgeon from 105 million in June 2023 to 160 million in 2050. Currently, youth has already taken up 45 percent of the entire population, meaning Egypt will need to build 83 new universities to accommodate their education need, according to Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ayman Ashour.

Last month, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated Borg El Arab Technological University in Alexandria, northern Egypt.

Establishing polytechnic universities in line with the latest international systems can qualify students to the most technologically advanced sectors, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.

Mohamed al-Gohary, president of the new university said the school offers a technology-based curriculum in machinery operation and maintenance, such as spinning and weaving machinery, tractor and agricultural equipment and railway, as well as in food industry and information technology.

The university also offers research programs and workshops in collaboration with factories to help the students to gain hands-on experience.

"Egypt's new polytechnic universities are centered in industrial areas and focus on serving the country's national energy, communication, and transportation projects," Araby Kishk, president of Delta Technological University, another new university established in an industrial zone in Menoufia province, told Xinhua

Seventy percent of the students in his university came from technical secondary schools. They are taking six technical programs in university, including renewable energy and IT, said Kishk.

Egypt's approach to expanding the number of polytechnic universities will also boost the innovation and localization of modern technology in the industry, said Tariq al-Nabarawi, chairman of the Egyptian Engineers Syndicate.

These types of higher institutions have gained popularity among students who aspired to secure well-paid jobs with professional skills, he added. Enditem

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