Newsletter 2016 - 02

Newsletter 2016: 02

  • June 2016 ILHAM -EC project web page at Zagazig University

In June 2016, the University of Zagazig published its own version of ILHAM-EC ( 

  • July 2016 – Mission to Alexandria, Cairo, Damanhour and Zagazig Universities, July 25-28 2016 - Field visit Results


In July 2016, Prof. Luciano Gutierrez (UNISS) and Mr. Marco Di Donato (UNIMED) visited the Universities of Alexandria, Cairo, Damanhour and Zagazig in order to discuss first results coming from the WP1 - Needs Assessment Report. Rectors, professors, students, administrative staff and managers of Egyptian enterprises have been involved in the meetings.

Please find here the news as published on Zagazig University website (

Many important points and recommendations emerged from the meetings have been included in the Needs Assessment report and are briefly summarized here below:

AU – Alexandria University

The visited Unit analysis was lastly updated in 2014 without receiving any funds from the EU concerning the laboratories equipment. Few spaces are available for students activities and there is a lack of participation of students in practical courses. Space for laboratories is currently under expansion. 

CU – Cairo University

Concerning the new curricula, CU professors and students suggested as follows:

- A strongest connection between theory and practice, with more time dedicated to professional activities even if this will not be a professional master. Enterprises are ready to host students for training giving also mentorship and, to the top students, 2 years of salary. Enterprises would also like to participate in the selection process of the students before entering into the Master. In accordance with ACS, virtual laboratories must be implemented as new teaching methods. It will be the first time for Egyptian Universities to adopt such a method. Summer training sessions must be included as mandatory activity during the Master. The CU Career office can help in finding a proper job after the end or during the Master. 

A bilingual approach was highly recommended: lessons in Arabic, but training materials and slides in English. Arabic language should be considered also for sustainability in order to attract other students coming from Arabic Countries. 

Training material must be unified and standardized in order to enhance cooperation among teachers. Also the training period can be considered as a tool in order to strengthen a common action among involved professors. 

DU – Damanhour University 

Practical activities has been confirmed as the top priorities, as well as the upgrade of local laboratories and facilities. DU expressed also the willingness to share the Master responsibility with AU.

DU expressed the needs to enhance communication between Universities and enterprises and improve the links between theory and practice.  Du stressed the fact that, in Damanhour, area farms are relatively small if compared to other part of the country. A written agreement must be set up among Universities and Enterprises formalizing the training periods and the mutual commitment during the Master. 

An entrance test in order to evaluate English level was highly recommended. 

ZU – Zagazig University 

ZU suggested to introduce Virtual Labs in which they have already experience. All the Units concerning E-learning were considered both by UNISS and UNIMED really appropriate for implementing what was imagined by the project in terms of E-Learning. 

ZU has a Central Lab (recently accredited by the Ministry in 2012) for analysis in Water, Soil, Food and Feeds. They can conduct chemical and biological analysis. They have microbiological labs plus instrumental labs. Students can have access to the Lab.

Teachers asked to introduce courses of Technical English for improving students skills. 

July 2016 - First phase of ILHAM-EC completed. Needs assessment report on Sustainable Land Management 

The herewith attached survey report is an analysis on the Needs Assessment of the Universities of Cairo, Alexandria, Zagazig and Damanhour. The study was carried out within the framework of the ILHAM-EC (InterUniversity Learning in Higher education on Advanced Land Management- Egypt Country) project funded by the European Union under the program Erasmus+ KA2 – Capacity Building in Higher Education.

To this purpose, an assessment of the curriculum of each University on Sustainable Land Management (SLM) was carried out in addition to an analysis of students and teachers’ perception of the educational quality currently provided by the University system. In many cases, the same questions were asked to students and teachers to highlight the potentially different reactions of these important target groups. Their perceptions have been then enhanced with those of the employers with the aim of analysing whether the skills acquired by graduated students meet the minimum requirements to access the labour market.

The survey provides relevant information to support the development of a new Master Course on SLM. The results demonstrate the importance of implementing a Master based on innovative learning methods aiming at improving the quality of teaching and learning while ensuring high quality educational curricula. This approach is considered the most appropriate to meet the professional, employment and socioeconomic needs of Egypt. Furthermore, as a follow-up to the survey, significant new initiatives were required to be implemented, such as cross-disciplinary courses, students and teachers’ mobility, seminars, courses and traineeships organised by international Institutions working in SLM.