Monday, 6 March 2023

The scholarships on offer for private university students in Egypt

Private universities’ scholarship landscape: With inflation at a five-year high and FX-denominated tuition fees at several private universities in the country jumping amid the weakening of the EGP, university students are feeling the pinch of rising costs. We give a rundown of the scholarships and financial support packages available for current and prospective students at several private universities in Egypt. While strong academic performance is a fixture of most scholarship eligibility criteria, scholarships dedicated to students who demonstrate a wide range of skill sets including athletic ability, artistic talents, or even strong leadership skills are also becoming widely available.

By the numbers: Around 7k of the British University in Egypt’s (BUE) current students have received partial or full scholarships, BUE’s Chief Marketing Officer Rasha Mabrouk told Enterprise. BUE students can apply for multiple scholarships they’re eligible for and will be awarded whichever scholarship is highest. Scholarships cover a maximum of up to 40% of tuition, with a few exceptions that could lead to a higher percentage of tuition being covered. Given the current economic climate, BUE is “trying to increase the cap so that scholarships can cover 45% of tuition,” Mabrouk said. At AUC, there are 1k scholarships — including more than 400 covering full tuition — allocated at any given time, Associate Provost for Enrollment Management at AUC Ahmed Abdel-Meguid told us.

Several universities provide need-based scholarships and financial aid, including BUE, AUC, and Nile University. All three universities have dedicated committees to review applications for financial support applicants, with each university offering differently sized packages. AUC offers several donor-funded, need-based scholarships that generally cover the full degree cost, while some also cover accommodation and/or other living expenses. Nile University typically grants a 10-50% deduction off tuition fees for students who demonstrate real financial need, while some students can be granted larger packages on an exceptional basis, a university representative told us. The university previously offered up financial aid once per academic year, but has opened up applications before each semester due to recent economic difficulties, the representatives said. Nile University also has several donor-funded scholarships such as the Banque du Caire Scholarship and the Housing & Development Bank Scholarship, each of which have their own eligibility criteria.

AUC’s financial aid scheme is being “repackaged” into a new scholarship program:

Effective Fall 2023, financial aid funds allocated for newly enrolled students each year

will be redirected to the new AUC Excellence Scholarship. This program is based on both merit and financial need and features six stackable categories. Combinations could result in total tuition coverage of 20-100%. Financial aid will continue to be a separate scheme for students enrolled before Fall 2023 until their graduation, but students must apply for renewal every academic year to demonstrate continued financial need, Abdel-Meguid told Enterprise.

For top academic performers in high school, several merit-based scholarships are up for grabs: The academic achievement category of AUC’s Excellence Scholarship Program is open to students with all types of all high school certificates, including national, international, private, and public schools. Merit-based scholarships at BUE are awarded to applicants based on high school grades, with each faculty setting different eligibility criteria depending on the type of high school degree. Nile University also has a merit-based scholarship program which grants eligible students either 15% or 30% off their tuition fees for first-year tuition fees based on high school scores. In subsequent years, students are evaluated based on their GPAs and can receive merit scholarships that cover either 20%, 40%, or 100% of their fees.

And there are specific packages for public school graduates: AUC’s Public-School Scholarship Fund is open to Egyptian students who graduate from public, experimental, STEM, and Nile schools with outstanding academic records and that demonstrate financial need. This scholarship covers tuition and fees, as well as accommodation at AUC dorms or AUC transport for eligible students. Students who earn top marks in Egypt’s national degree programs (Thanaweya Amma/STEM/Nile) will also be considered for the Egyptian National Certificates category of AUC’s Excellence Scholarship Program. Students applying to BUE from Egyptian public schools are eligible for scholarships, with each faculty setting different Thanaweya Amma score eligibility criteria. Nile University offers full scholarships for students’ entire duration of study (given that they maintain a 3.0 GPA or above) to the top 10 performing students in each Thanaweya Amma track (arts, mathematics, or science).

Athletes and students with special talents get some tailored packages: BUE offers three levels of athletic scholarships, based on whether a student has competed in an international, national, or university-level competition, and how they rank. The scholarship packages vary based on performance. “If you are a gold champion in the Olympics, for example, you would get an 80% scholarship,” Mabrouk told us. AUC’s sports scholarships will fall under the Talents category of the AUC Excellence Scholarship program. We previously ran down a detailed list of sports scholarships available in Egypt. AUC’s Excellence Scholarship program also includes a Talents category for students who have distinguished themselves in sports, art, music, writing, and other fields, with students required to provide supporting documentation that demonstrates their talent in and dedication to their field, Abdel-Meguid told us.

Other conditions that could make students eligible for scholarships:

  • Volunteering: Students who are actively engaged in community service or have demonstrated impactful leadership — such as “high school students that lead a student club, are active participants in an NGO, or have organized some sort of community service initiative” — are eligible for the Leadership and Community Service category of AUC’s Excellence Scholarship Program, Abdel-Meguid said.
  • Family benefits and extenuating circumstances: Students with a sibling currently enrolled in BUE and those whose parents are current faculty members at public universities are each eligible for a 10% scholarship. Students whose parent or guardian passes away after their enrollment at BUE are also eligible for 50% of their tuition fees to be covered.
  • Liberal arts students: Top-performing students applying to a liberal art major at AUC are eligible for the Liberal Arts majors category of the Excellence Scholarship Program. Students can also be eligible for this category in conjunction with the Talent category of the program, Abdel-Meguid told us.
  • Early admission + partner school applicants: BUE also grants partial scholarships for students accepted in early admission, as well as those applying from a specific list of BUE’s partner schools, according to its website.

Your top education stories for the week:

  • Thanaweya Amma exam schedules are out: Thanaweya Amma exams are scheduled to take place between 12 June and 15 July. (Education Ministry)
  • Alexandria’s first international applied tech school will open in 10 days: Education Minister Reda Hegazy and International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat will inaugurate the first international applied tech school in Alexandria on 16 March. (Statement)
  • Public sector to see wage and pension hikes: Public school teachers and university faculty members are one group that will see raises of EGP 300-500 to their bonuses amidst measures to mitigate the impact of soaring inflation.
  • An Eva Pharma applied tech school in the making: Eva Pharma is partnering with the Education Ministry and the USAID to establish its own applied tech school, which is expected to start operations for the upcoming academic year. (Al Mal)
  • Emirati fertilizer company CFC Group will establish a school for applied science at its USD 400 mn industrial complex in Qena Governorate, set to start operations during the upcoming academic year.
  • Non-profit foundation, Educate Me, has released the results of its pilot project, Teaching at the Right Level, which addresses alternative learning methodologies to be implemented in Arabic in schools across the MENA region. (Statement, pdf)

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