Higher education students of private institutions have shown to be more concerned about credentials than obtaining skills that would be beneficial to them in the labor market.
This is one of the findings of a paper entitled “Aligning Incentives to Reforming Higher Education in Egypt: The Role of Private Institutions” by Ghada Barsoum, professor at the American University in Cairo; which looks at the quality of education through the assessment and feedback of students based on their experiences. According to Barsoum, private institutions tend to be more lenient with students in terms of the amount of work and assignments given to them, which in turn affects their skills development.
Barsoum added that private institutions now compose one fifth of higher education institutions in Egypt. This is a phenomenon that has caught the attention of researchers in the field lately as the international trend is playing a strong role in several countries.
Discussed at the latest Economic Research Forum (ERF) workshop, “Incentives for Better Quality Higher Education in Egypt and Jordan”, the paper compares the learning experience between public and private higher education institutions in Egypt. In the light of her research work, Barsoum argues that rules aiming to control the quality of education in private institution have become necessary , towards a higher value of the learning outcomes of education as opposed to credentials.
Watch our interview with Ghada Barsoum
The results of the paper show that Egypt has a deep rooted structural problem that not only exists in the educational system but within the whole labor market as well.
According to Amirah El Haddad, professor at Cairo University who was the discussant of the paper at the workshop, the outputs of our education have to be identified so that we are able to work on improving the educational system in Egypt. El Haddad added that identifying the problems in the labor market reflects the demands expected from our educational system and hence allows the improvement.
Watch our interview with Amirah El Haddad