Updated 2 years ago

Egyptian universities are very open to foreign students. If you are planning to study there, here is how to proceed.

Moving to Egypt is the dream of many expatriates worldwide. Some may chose to live and work there while others prefer to study. In all cases, Egypt is open towards expatriates. So if you wish to study there, feel free to enroll in one of its numerous universities. Some of these partially provide courses in English and French while others provide Arabic programs with the possibility of enrolling for language adaptation classes.

Higher education system

The Egyptian higher education system is governed by the Ministry of Higher Education. It comprises more than 20 public universities, almost as many public non-university institutions as well as private universities. The country also hosts around 80 private higher education institutions and a few independent schools providing university programs.

Many new schools have opened outside the major Egyptian cities so as to guarantee access to education for all.

The school year is divided into two semesters: from September to January or February and from February or March to June or July. Examinations are held at the end of each semester.

General and technical sectors

General sector

The general sector grants access to diplomas such as the license or baccalauréos involving four years of studies following the baccalaureate. The professional masters, for its part, comes after the baccalauréos and is considered as a short way to the short duration of the course. However, you can also choose the longer path which will lead to a magister degree which will involve between four and six years of studies, maybe more. Finally, the doctorate requires a minimum of four additional years of studies, including a preparatory year and a dissertation. Only the engineering diploma can be obtained following five years of studies while the medicine diploma is delivered following six years of studies.

Technical sector

Technical studies are provided under the aegis of the higher institutes of technology. In general, these cycles last for two years and provide a diploma. However, courses provided by some institutions may extend over four to five years.


You should know beforehand that the official study language in Egypt is Arabic, although a few programs are provided in French and English. However, students coming from the region, especially from the Maghreb, find it difficult to understand and adapt to. This is why Arabic courses are provided by universities to foreign students who do not understand the language. A certificate is delivered at the end of the course.


The Egyptian higher education system is quite selective in terms of enrollment. Thus, results obtained from previous examinations (baccalaureate, licence, etc.) are compared so as to obtain an equivalence to national diplomas. Universities providing programs such as medical, pharmaceutical, engineering, political science, economic and law studies are deemed to be more prestigious and therefore are more selective than others.

Moreover, students wishing to enroll in a foreign university or taking part in a cooperation program between Egypt and other countries must be holders of a diploma or a language certificate to be accepted by the chosen institute.


In general, fees vary from one institution to another and according to the program. In all cases, fees applying to foreign students are higher. You will thus need around 8,000 Egyptian pounds against less than 5,000 Egyptian pounds for local students.


All candidates are required to pass a national examination to be admitted in the university of their choice. The same applies to specialized private institutions such as cinema schools, conservatories, etc. However, some universities also provide courses in scientific faculties. Registration is only possible upon payment of applied fees. You are therefore advised to inquire on relating conditions with the university of your choice.


Make sure to translate your diplomas and other related documents en English or Arabic so as to avoid any possible hurdles.

 Useful links:

Research Development & Innovation Program – List of Egyptian Public, Private Universities and Egyptian Research Institutes www.rdi.eg.net
Cairo University cu.edu.eg
International Students Bureau – Enrollment procedures foreign.cu.edu.eg

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.