Education sector in Egypt

Egypt’s education sector creates and serves the largest workforce in the Middle East and North Africa with more than 20 million students enrolled in pre-university and university education levels.

Market overview

The Egyptian education system is widely acknowledged to require reform at all levels – primary and secondary school, tertiary, and life-long learning and workplace training. The government is therefore focused on upgrading the quality of education at all levels.

With the help of the World Bank and other multilateral organizations Egypt aims to increase the inclusion of ICT at all levels of education, especially at the tertiary level.

Egypt has seen how much the private sector can bring to educational development, from private education to public-private partnerships for K-12 schooling, from private university and technical/vocational education to corporate training programs.

Education and training is a sector of paramount importance to the continued development of Egypt’s economy and society. However, there are key challenges to be addressed including raising productivity and increasing competitiveness and addressing the country’s persistent skills shortages. The education system is still largely driven by supply rather than demand. Therefore, vocational training in particular, or skills for employment, has rightly been placed at the very top of the reform agenda.

Facts & Figures:

  • Total government spending on education has reached 53.9 Bn EGP in the year 2011/2012. (Source: The Information Centre for the Council of Ministers). The pre-university education government spending constitutes 74.9 % while the university education spending constitutes 25 %.

  • Total number of pre-university students has reached 18.3 Million students in the year 2012/2013.

  • Total number of school teachers and professors has reached 1 Million teachers in the year 2012/2013.

  • Total number of university students has reached 2.1 Million students in 2011/2012; of which, 51 % are registered in governmental universities while 49 % are registered in private universities. (20 public and 19 private universities).

  • Total number of students enrolled in private institutes reached 313931 in June 2012.

  • There are about 476 government and private universities, faculties, and institutes in Egypt.

  • The government’s investments in the university and higher education are estimated to reach about EGP 4.1 billion in 2012/2013.

  • The number of public schools increased from 36,000 schools in the year 2006/2007 to more than 40,000 thousand schools in the year 2010/2011 of which 5662 school are private schools.

  • Number of Technical Institutes is 47 with around 200,000 students

  • Number of Vocational Training Centres is 1222 with around 300,000 students

The Government Plan 2012/2013:

  • Increase the rate of university enrolment to 35%.

  • Increase the percentage of students enrolled in higher technical universities to 18%.

  • Increase the number of technical universities.

  • Increase the number of public and private universities to 43 Universities.

  • Encourage missions abroad.

  • Encourage the private sector participation in high education investments.

Key opportunities

The Egyptian government is investing heavily in education and there are many opportunities for UK companies to form partnerships across the sector, including higher education, English-language training, leadership skills & development, and vocational training.

Opportunities exist in the following areas:

  • Vocational Training: There are synergies across a wide variety of sectors which the government has identified as requiring modernisation and up skilling. Through TVET Reform Program, a sector based approach to skills development has been piloted in Egypt through the creation of 12 Enterprise-TEVET Partnerships (ETPs). There are opportunities for curricula work and skills products from the UK to cover the following sectors: Ready Made Garments, Industrial Engineering, Building & Construction Materials, Wood & Furniture Industries, Food Industries, Tourism, Building & Construction, Civil Engineering, Leather & Tanning Industry, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries, Printing and Mass Media.

  • Energy VET: This sub-sector is a promising one. A variety of technical and “soft” skills needs have been identified, which could be addressed by a variety of methods, including tailored short courses, distance and blended learning, and undergraduate and post-graduate qualifications. Areas include: petroleum economists, geologists, drilling & reservoir engineering, management skills & business awareness and project management engineers. There is need to bridge the gap between university and industry: it takes an average of 2 years for fresh graduates to be “work useful”.

  • Educational equipment, services and methods: The government is focussing on a major schools building programme, and upgrading of existing schools. There is growing emphasis on the private education system, with a view to allowing more private schools and universities to be established. There are opportunities across the board, in the state and private sectors, from basic equipment and services to more sophisticated classroom technology, to the trend towards modern and progressive technologies and techniques such as blended learning, e-coaching, mentoring, web design etc. By the end of this year 2013, the Egyptian government will offer the Nile Egyptian Schools project as a public-private partnership (PPP). The project follows the setting up of the Education Development Fund (EDF), under which the private sector will build more than 10 schools in the first phase at a cost of EGP 30 million to EGP 40 million per school.

  • English Language Skills (ELS): More than half of Egypt’s 85 million citizens are under the age of 25 and there are more than 2 million university graduates each year. And with multinational corporations expanding their operations within Egypt — and more and more Egyptian companies becoming regionally and even globally competitive — the need has never been greater for highly skilled labour, including technicians, engineers and fluent foreign-language speakers. English is increasingly the business language of Egypt and is a core skill in the large tourism sector. This is a competitive market with many existing suppliers, but demand will continue to grow.

  • Professional, Executive and Corporate Training: Partnerships for the delivery of leadership and management programmes, sales and marketing, coaching, IT, programmes for health and social care staff, engineering, health and safety, and a wide range of other corporate training programmes.

  • Consultancy: Egyptian authorities respect the UK’s expertise in all areas of education, training, up-skilling & technology transfer.

  • Other areas include: Partnerships with UK universities and institutions in the higher education system

Latest export opportunities in the Education & Skills sector

Latest export opportunities in Egypt

Getting into the market

Trade and investment between the UK and Egypt is promising. However it is not always an easy market. A successful entry into Egypt will be determined by the quality of the information and advice upon which the decision to enter is based. Continued success is also dependent upon the ability to navigate the laws and practices of Egypt.

The Egyptian market requires careful study and a sustained sales effort. There is strong competition from other exporting countries. Price and credit terms are a deciding factor when obtaining contracts, though quality is increasingly important. Back-up servicing facilities and the supply of spare parts is also important.

Having a local partner can be vital to successful penetration of this market. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, given the continuing bureaucracy, a local partner can shepherd the foreign business through the delays and obstacles. Secondly, foreign companies require a local agent to bid for government tenders. Thirdly, as the Egyptian market becomes more sophisticated there is a growing demand for after sales service, which a local agent can convincingly provide.

In general, British products and services are very highly regarded in Egypt for their quality. The main obstacle facing the growth of British involvement in the Egyptian market is that British products have a reputation as being expensive compared to some foreign products.

More about doing business in Egypt


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events in Education & Training sector

Education Exhibition

10 -12 October 2013

Cairo International Conference Center

Tel: 002(02) 2615 3254

Mobile: 002 0122 547 6021

Organiser: Al Hayah for Exhibition & Conference Co.

Note: Dates of events are tentative and are liable to change in case other circumstances take place, so please visit underneath website to confirm dates of forthcoming events:

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Education & Training
Countries: Egypt
Topics: Finance
Export Action Plan