The project Gender Equality in the Egyptian Higher Education System is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) since April 2012. During the first project term, the project partners met for several workshops to analyse the current situation with regard to gender equality at the partner universities, to exchange best practice examples, and to identify specific objectives for the project.
As first project activity, delegates of the Egyptian partner universities and of the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education attended a workshop in Berlin in June 2012 in order to obtain information on equal opportunity policies at Freie Universität and to discuss their applicability to Egyptian circumstances. In the beginning of December 2012, Freie Universität Berlin organized a workshop in cooperation with Cairo University and the Egyptian Ministry for Higher Education in Cairo to discuss different strategies and policies to enhance equal opportunities in higher education in Egypt and Germany.
Meanwhile the Egyptian partner universities began to establish equal opportunity centers that offer counseling and soft skills courses for university members in the fields of equal opportunities, work-life balance, and career development. German experts visited the Egyptian partner universities for so-called mentoring stays to assist the local partners in developing and implementing equal opportunity policies tailored to the needs of the respective university and the local context.
To raise awareness for the necessity of equal opportunity policies also within the university management, the summer school in Berlin in July 2013 brought together university managers, policy makers, experts in the fields of gender research, and representatives from civil society organizations.
Just recently, the project partners have started to work on a handbook "Guidelines for equal opportunity policies at Egyptian universities" to make the experiences made in the context of the project available for the broader public. The handbook is supposed to be published in autumn 2014. Apart from that, several capacity building workshops will take place at the partner universities in 2014. Furthermore a summer school "gender in teaching" and a network conference with representatives from the five partner universities, other universities in the Arab region, civil society organizations and state institutions are planned.