The modern educational system derived its students from Quran schools and Al-Azhar at its emergence, as there were committees that roam the country to visit Quran schools and select distinctive students to join modern schools, distinctive students of Al-Azhar were also selected to join high schools at their establishment, but rather some were lucky to join the mission dispatched by Mohammed to study in France.
This organization did not last for long; in 1841the Egyptian Ottoman settlement has been made to set limits for the political project that fondled Mohamed Ali's dreams, to limit the army's size, and to restrict the authority of the state in economy management. Therefore, the state became in no need to more employees, rather it demobilized large number of soldiers and officers, thus, Mohamed Ali decided to reconsider the educational system, putting the new conditions in mind. Hence, the new organization developed in 1841, by which most of the primary schools were cancelled and numbers of students of high schools were decreased, putting in mind what suited the state's need of graduates.
Connection between modern education and the state's need for employees interprets the condition of education in eras of Abbas Helmy the first (1848 – 1854) and Mohamed Said Pasha (1854 – 1863).
In the era of Khedive Ismail (1863 – 1879), manifestations of dependency were completed by opening the door of Leveraged from European financial institutions wide; Ismail looked forward to complete the infrastructure of the Egyptian economy that has been started by his grandfather Mohamed Ali through expanding projects of irrigation, building railways, roads, Alexandria port, new cities at Al-Suez Canal (Port Said and Ismailiya), urban expanding at Cairo and Alexandria. He also looked forward to increase the military power of Egypt to expand the Egyptian existence at Sudan. All of this required large sums of money that were borrowed by Ismail from European financial houses. Whatever it was, Ismail credit plan completed the integration process of the Egyptian economy in the European economy to resolve the professional attribute of the Egyptian agricultural production.
However, projects of completing infrastructure of Egyptian economy and establishing Egyptian military power made the state, in Khedive Ismail's era, in need for preparing administrative, technical, and military cadres. This required reviving the modern educational system that was eroded by Abbas the first and Mohamed Said Pasha.
Nevertheless, the Egyptian economy's supplementing projects and the aim of establishing Egyptian military force made the state, in Khedive Ismail's era, in need for preparing administrative, technical, and military cadres. This required reviving the modern educational system that was eroded at the hands of Abbas the first and Mohamed Said Pasha.
In Ismail's era, education was given a great deal of interest, and the government established schools, and became responsible for studying expenses including living expenses of students. Therefore, Divan of schools was restored after being cancelled by Said. Education budget increased gradually and the government returned to dispatching missions to Europe, and most of those missions were directed to France. A number of primary schools across the country from Alexandria in the North to Menia at the South were established. The government supervised Quran schools (local offices), and established some preparatory schools (medium) and private schools (high), thus, established school of management and languages in 1868 (which became known as school of law since 1886), school of irrigation and architecture (which became known as school of engineering) in 1866, school of dar el-ulum (1872) which was emerged to prepare teachers of primary and preparatory schools, mesaha school and accounting school (1868), school of agriculture (1867), school of ancient Egyptian tongue (archaeology and Egyptology) (1869), as well as specialized military schools.
Keeping with the base of retaining high schools, the more its graduates were demanded and dispense with high schools, the less high schools were demanded, school of agriculture was closed at 1875, school of ancient Egyptian tongue was cancelled at 1876 after graduating some specialists of agriculture, one of whom were destined to be from the pioneers of this field in Egypt (Ahmed Kamal Pasha), whenever school of medicine gained a great deal of interest.
When the Egyptian learned Ali Mubarak took over divan of schools in 1868, he gathered a number of private schools (high) at Darb Gamamiz Saray, therefore, he allocated for every school a side of saray and established a laboratory that is equipped for chemistry and physics and a public library (Khedivial Books House) in 1870, and a great auditorium that received general lectures in different branches of knowledge, thereby, there was a window of opportunity to establish Egyptian university, as spatial presence achieved a sort of scientific communication between professors and each other and between professors and students. If this experience was destined to continue, it would have become a nucleus to the first Egyptian university.
Education policy continued to be based on the state's need for employees and expanding schools throughout the era of the British occupation (1882 – 1922). The Englishmen paid their attention for Quran schools without exerting efforts to develop them, whenever they linked admission to primary education with the need for secondary education and high education, thus, widened primary education to suffice the needs of secondary and private (high) schools for students, as well as promoting education and rising its level. The need of those schools for students is confined to the state's need for administrative and technical cadres. Admission to schools was confined to the sons of those who were able to afford expenses. It was a special education that was not meant for common people. Accordingly, secondary and high education, in particular, were confined to a specific social rank after efficiency and personal readiness used to be the criteria by which students in schools were selected before the era of the English occupation when education was for free in all the schools at the era of Mohamed Ali and Ismail.
It was normal to find financial allocations of educational missions decreased gradually, that they were almost stopped at the first ten years of occupation. Even when missions continued under the pressure of patriotic movement, emissaries were decreased to ten students. When occupation policy of education declared in 1893 that government is not committed to appoint graduates of different schools, high schools attracted small numbers of students. Ministry of education limited the numbers of admitted students on the pretext that they were fearful about increasing the number of jobless graduates. They also increased studying expenses at high schools starting by 1905 to limit the demand for high education and confine it to sons of dignitaries. Thus, employing at Egyptian administration was confined to the social elite that was cooperative was occupation, and who belonged to the middle-class were excluded, hence, kindling a spark of patriotic work that is hostile to occupation among them.
Since high education became confined to high class, it was important to put an English complexion on them to connect this social stratum with the British culture. Consequently, education at the school of medicine became in English in 1898, the French department of the school of teachers was cancelled in 1900, English department was established at the school of law in 1899, and missions were directed to Britain after being directed to France. Therefore, Arabization of education became one of the main demands of the patriotic movement. Invitation to Arabization achieved some success at schools of art, industry, and agriculture; Arabization started at the school of law in 1910, commercial education started in Arabic, whereas it was delayed in the schools of teachers to post-revolution, and the invitation failed to Arabize schools of engineering, medicine pharmacy, and veterinary medicine.
In the early twentieth century, patriotic struggle against occupation was associated with opposing its educational policy, and demanding patriotic education system that accommodates Egyptians who were seeking science. In the context of this movement, invitation to establish Egyptian university appeared after a broad base of high education roots was available at Egypt.