Role of Cairo University in Establishing other Universities

Completing the structure of the university and converting it into a governmental university in 1925 was a result of a new phase of Egypts contemporary history that was issued by 1919 Revolution. This phase was characterized by the Egyptians hope in achieving national independence and preparing the country to bear its consequences. Although Egypt got incomplete independence on 28/2/1922, patriotic struggle for completing the independence was still active. The Egyptians contributed to patriotic struggle in their different social positions, different interests, and hopes of national independence. Establishing Bank Misr and seeking to establish a national base of Egyptian Economy was merely the social elites way of expressing their hope in being independent of being subordinate to foreign capitalism. Establishing the university and completing its structure was a sort of the Egyptians hope of boosting Egypts independence and achieving its renaissance of which education and science are cornerstone.

Therefore, highlighting the Egyptian universitys entity, organizing it, and being sponsored by the state were associated with developing education in Egypt, especially secondary education that qualified students to join the university. Secondary certificate qualified its holders to work at governmental divans and allowed them to join high schools to achieve the same target which is graduating cadres necessary to serve different governmental departments. Therefore, secondary education was to be reconsidered in terms of its system and programs to meet a level that qualified students to join the university. Accordingly, Maher Pasha, Minister of Education (March 1925 – June 1926) was keen on considering different stages of general education in order to achieve integration of education system structure on which peak the university lies. He was guided by education programs in some European countries, especially France, Britain, and Belgium. Since Minister of education was the supreme president of the university, he cared about secondary education and developed it aiming at associating it with academic education. He made secondary education five years instead of four years to provide students with general knowledge for three years. Then secondary education was divided into three sections; fourth and fifth years were science, arts and mathematics in order for students to be able to study different specializations in the university.  
The government realized the need to set an educational policy that is based on fixed basis that keep pace with the time and its development. Therefore, Murad Sayed Ahmed Pasha, Minister of Education, formed a committee that was headed by him. Its memberships were composed of undersecretary, university president, Deans of faculties, headmasters of high schools and four experts who were chosen by the minister. Forming the committee included suggestion of general policy of education and providing the committee with all what it needed of data, however, the committee did not call for a meeting except one time in March, 1931 may be because Ismail Sedky government was busy with political conflict which was a reaction of constitutional coup and resulted from economic crisis which increased the linkage between educational policy and financial allocations. Thus, secondary education system remained tainted by dereliction. House of Representatives criticized the government as the report of the financial committee of the Egyptian universitys budget project of the financial year 1934-1935 mentioned that secondary education was still unable to keep pace with the Egyptian Universitys renaissance or filling the universitys need of excellent students who were ready to understand academic purposes. Since Ministry of Education approved the target of the council of stressing the necessity of modifying education curriculum, so he composed committees for examining primary and secondary education curriculum.  
 When Ahmed Al-Helaly Pasha became Minister of Education 1935, a report has been prepared about secondary education in which he considered allocating training studies for teachers through organizing lectures given by university professors to rise their teaching efficiency and the necessity of taking care of English and French languages in the secondary stage in order for those who join the university to read different references.
Al-Helaly Pasha modified secondary education system making students study cultural subjects for four years after which they got cultural certificate (secondary study general section) then they got specialized in one of the three sections; science, mathematics and arts for one year after which they got (secondary study private section). Mathematics section qualified students to join Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Science, whereas arts section qualified students to join Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Law, and Faculty of Commerce.
General education was not for free as students parents were to pay expenses of education until education became for free thanks to Taha Hussein in 1951 before July Revolution as secondary education was only confined to sons of middle class who could pay expenses of education and who could enroll their children in the university. Accordingly, the majority of holders of General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) were from the middle class. In 1936, they were 79% of GCSE holders, 81% in 1938, 77% in 1940, 75% in 1942, and 85% in 1944.
If we bear in mind that university enrollment fees made students responsible for from 35% to 60% of education expenses. Those Fees were ranging between 20 EGP for Faculty of Arts and 45 EGP for Faculty of Medicine in 1940, whereas the fees of Faculty of Arts were 52 EGP, 148 for Faculty of 25 EGP for Faculty of Commerce Medicine per one academic year costing student 35 per year. If some studies have estimated the budget for a family consisting of a couple and four children of not less than 439 EGP minimum per month for food and clothing according to official rates in 1942. Since low slides of middle class were not able to afford this, then we realized that secondary and academic education were confined to middle class, especially medium and high slides. However, number of university students was multiplied at late thirties with the gradual expansion of the Egyptian middle class slides because of the economic conditions that resulted from the Second World War. Thus, there was a need to expand in university education. This was the responsibility of Fuaad the First University (Cairo University) which placed the nucleus of other universities and carried the burden of its establishment.

Farouk the First University – Alexandria University

Academic education became popular in Egypt and Cairo University was not able to accommodate all applicants. Therefore, the need to expand academic education became urgent. At the beginning of each academic year, the government was insisting on the university to increase number of enrolled students, while the university was not able to meet this demand in order not to affect level of education badly. Therefore, planning to establish a branch for the university at Alexandria started. In 1938, the universitys council decided to establish two branches at Alexandria for faculties of Law and Arts. This was approved by Council of Ministers on 6/8/1938, and then a branch of Faculty of Engineering was established at Alexandria on 1941.
Ministry of Education prepared law project for University of Alexandria that was known as Farouk the First University in order to get benefit from Cairo Universitys experiences. Law no. 32 of year 1942 has been issued in 2/8/1942. As a result, Farouk the First University has been established at Alexandria. At the beginning, the university was composed of Faculties of Arts, Law, Medicine, Science, Engineering, Agriculture, and Commerce.
However, the responsibility of Cairo University did not stop as soon as Alexandria University has been established as an independent university. Cairo University provided Alexandria University with necessary experiences and cadres of staff members. Dr. Hekal Pasha, Minister of Education meanwhile, had an inclination to hire foreign professors in demanding positions until staff members of Alexandria University were equipped in Egypt and abroad. Thus, Cairo University was responsible to fill the gap in teaching staff.

Ibrahim Pasha University- Ain Shams

Ibrahim Pasha University (Ain Shams) has been established in 1950 at Abbaseya – Cairo to meet the need of expanding academic education after the demand of it increased after equipping graduates of secondary schools after the Second World War and the increase of inhabitants and the governorates near to it. This made Cairo University unable to accommodate applicants of secondary certificate holders.

The need to establish a new university at Cairo became urgent, especially that there were high institutes that served as a nucleus for a new university, such as; School of Art at Abbaseya. There were also the sites that were occupied by Faculty of Science – Cairo University at Kasr Al-Zaafran at Abbaseya. This facilitated the way to establish Faculty of Engineering at the site of the School of Art and get benefit from its laboratories and potentials. The same thing happened for the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Medicine getting benefit from Al-Demerdash Hospital that Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University was supervising as well as Faculty of Arts, which occupied the site of a former foreign school at Shobra. Faculty of Law and Commerce were annexed to Faculty of Engineering and some High Schools at Al-Monira. This paved the way to establish the university campus at Al-Abbaseya where the faculties were transferred to in 1962. Faculty of Agriculture was headquartered in Mohamed Ali Pasha at Shobra Al-Khema. Again, Cairo University became responsible for organizing a new university and some staff members of Cairo University of different specialties transferred to the new university where vacant chairs and chances of promotion were available. Ibrahim Pasha University got benefit from experiences of staff members who were transferred from Cairo University and who gained their experiences from years of studying and teaching at Cairo University. Most of them were graduates of Fuaad the First University. The existence of a new university urged hiring of staff members of Cairo University to fill the gap through mandating them to teach at Ibrahim Pasha University that became known as Ain Shams University after July 1952 Revolution. In the mid fifties, idea of annexing Ain Shams University to Cairo University was issued in order not to lead to duplication as a result of the existence of two universities similar in specialties at the same city. Thus, Dr. Taha Hussein defended the idea of keeping Ain Shams University independent, in an article that was published in Al-Gomhoureya Newspaper on 7/8/1955. Moreover, Minister of Education demanded deliberation in modifying system of the university as well as consulting experts before implementing any new system. Universities of East and West were implementing system of multiplying universities not mixing them. Therefore, Ain Shams University continued as independent as it was.

Mohamed Ali Pasha University – Assuit

As soon as a decree was issued to establish Ibrahim Pasha University at Cairo 1950, another decree has been issued to establish Mohamed Ali Pasha University. However, it was difficult to place the burden of founding two universities on Cairo University. Therefore, the state started to equip staff members for the first university at Upper Egypt. Thus, scientific missions were dispatched abroad to study for PhD. in different specialties that the new university needed.
After 1952 Revolution, study has started at the university that became known as ((Asuit University)) in 1957. At the beginning, the university was composed of two universities; Faculty of Science and Faculty of Engineering, and then the university completed its faculties gradually. Cairo University was in charge of boosting the new university with professors and specialized cadres as well as helping the university to prepare its regulations and studying system. This was what Cairo University had done in the foundation period (1950 – 1957) and in post-foundation period, thus, providing Asuit University with staff members of Cairo University who taught at Asuit University until it completed its architecture and stood on its own feet. Thus, Cairo University was a corner stone in Egyptian academic education which was related to patriotic struggle for political, social and economic freedom. Noteworthy, Cairo University played a large role through participating in founding Arab Universities, such as; Al-Riyadh University (King Saud University), King Abdulaziz University at Jeddah, University of Baghdad and Kuwait University.

CU in EGYPT - Quick Facts - Role of Cairo University in Establishing other Universities