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Students Participation

Newly elected student representatives from Cairo University in Berlin

From 10 to 17 February 2012 sixteen newly elected student representatives from Cairo University visited Freie Universität Berlin.  On their agenda were talks with the Vice President for Student Affairs, representatives of student councils and student association initiatives, the student governing body AStA, the student counseling service and the International Club. The group also visited the German Bundestag. In addition, the student representatives discussed in a political science seminar the current transformation process in Egypt.

The visit was one of several delegations trips funded by the DAAD to promote student participation at Egyptian universities. At the same time, a group from Ain Shams University traveled to Technische Universität Berlin. At the end of their journey, the two groups met for a joint reception at Otto-Suhr-Institut. The Egyptian and German student representatives both praised the exciting exchange and expressed their desire towork more closely together on common concerns in the future. Particularly in light of the re-founding of the Egyptian Student Union after the fall of Mubarak, the Egyptian student representatives gained important insights into the internal university decision structures. Through a short visit to Leipzig, they had the opportunity to compare different models of student self-administration in Germany. Still, the Egyptian delegation was astonished about the often limited turn out in student council elections in Germany.

The political enthusiasm of the Egyptian students to be at the forefront of the current transformation process affected also their German counterparts. No wonder that the visit was met with great interest by the media in Berlin.  Through interviews the young Egyptians had the opportunity to present their view on the upheaval in Egypt to a wider audience.

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