Date: 25 February 2019
Place: Cairo, Egypt
On Monday 25 February 2019, the HOPES project funded by the European Union’s Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis, the ‘Madad Fund’ and implemented by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the British Council, Campus France and Nuffic, organised its third National Stakeholder Dialogue in Egypt, entitled ‘HE and the Syria Crisis: Blended Learning and Online Solutions’ in collaboration with Ain Shams University at the Hilton Residence Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
The gathering was part of a series of stakeholder dialogues organised on a national level bringing together representatives from ministries, higher education institutions, key institutional stakeholders involved in tertiary education and the Syria crisis. The National Stakeholder Dialogues seek to provide a platform for discussion and information exchange, in order to expand the dialogue on higher education and the Syria crisis on a national level to strengthen coordination and explore new approaches benefitting all stakeholders.
As the gap between the needs of refugees and provision of higher education opportunities remains largely unfilled, despite the tremendous efforts of various stakeholders, this particular dialogue focused on blended learning, e-learning solutions and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as a complementary alternative to the higher education refugee response in Egypt. The event aimed at better understanding the local context in terms of barriers, accreditation mechanisms and recognition of online study solutions as well as at exploring new prospects and approaches.
The dialogue included welcome notes by Mr. Ville Suutarinen, representative of the Delegation of the European Union to Egypt and the Madad Fund; Mr Alex Lambert, Deputy Director of the British Council Egypt as well as Dr Carsten Walbiner, HOPES Project Director.
The gathering incorporated presentations from Dr Rasha Kamal, Ministry of Higher Education; Dr Hanan El Said, Ain Shams University; Dr Maysa Hayward, Ocean County College as well as Ms Allison Church, Kiron Open Higher Education. The dialogue allowed to further identify and explore recommendations and approaches in blended learning and online solutions on a national level.