Full report

Key recommendations

This needs assessment exposes that the challenges in closing the gap in demand and supply in technical skills are not unique for Egypt’s ICT sector. There are some general issues related to traditions and culture in  how universities and private sector collaborate – or rather the lack of actual interaction and collaboration between parties.

For a fast moving technology sector as ICT, it is crucial that competitive businesses can mirror themselves in a competitive re-search and development environment and likewise, that competitive universities can mirror themselves in competitive businesses. Thus, the bond between the two sectors must be strong.

Based on the surveys and related interviews with businesses, universities and graduates, it seems that Egypt can gain from experiences from Europe and other regions on how o create better synergies from university and business collaboration on several levels.

Experiences from many countries shows that youth select their professional education based on friends’ and family’s influence, and while being students, they select jobs under influence of role models like teachers, recent graduates and business people, they encounter during their studies.

This report suggests that efforts to change the current situation must be a combination of changes in government policy to develop the enabling environment and initiatives at all sides in private businesses, universities and graduates.

Government can

  • Create an ICT elite university to support access to world-class research and development, raise ICT training and improve cooperation with private business sector.
  • Create an ICT Technology Hub to grow the pool of ICT talent through education, attract foreign talents, recruitment and retention of talented ICT specialists, and dissemination of re-search results to MSMEs.
  • Create a ICT Bachelor model to accelerate the students contact with private businesses as the study can be done in parallel with employment in a private business.

Universities can

  • Establish apprenticeship programs in dialogue with private sector.
    Make students’ graduate projects based on cases from private businesses.
  • Establish focus groups, dialogue fora or networks with ICT companies to give input on curriculum development.
  • Give incentives and develop job descriptions to professors and teachers, so they can engage more with private businesses.
  • Strengthen their role in preparing the students for future employment in the private sector.

Private businesses can

  • Engage in dialogue with universities to develop an enabling environment for future collaboration.
  • Be pro-active and take contact to universities, professors and teachers to propose projects for collaboration (case work, guest lecturers, internships etc).
  • Collectively formulate policy proposals and suggestions for government initiatives.
  • Improve how and where companies communicate to graduates about vacancies, internships, and apprenticeships.

Graduates can

  • Prioritise to gain information and experience from working in private companies, e.g. through case studies or on-the-job-training.
  • Demand business-related projects and company visits during their studies.
  • Stay open-minded to other types of jobs in ICT business such as sales or marketing.