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TU Campus El Gouna

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Public-private partnership in the field of exporting education / social involvement on the part of TU alumnus Samih Sawiris implements German educational standards for academic programs in Egypt / project financed entirely through external funding.

Technische Universität Berlin established a satellite campus in Egypt to act as a scientific and academic field office. The nonprofit public-private partnership (PPP) offers German services provided by TU Berlin at the campus in El Gouna, on the Red Sea. TU Berlin has established three new master’s degree programs – in Energy Engineering, Urban Development, and Water Engineering – as pilot programs at the new campus. All three of them started in the winter semester of the 2011/2012 academic year. The initiative makes TU Berlin the first German university to offer programs in Egypt that are subject exclusively to German higher education standards and legislation in terms of both their content and their structure.

The TU campus, whose complex includes a large lecture hall, library, and seven additional buildings housing seminar rooms, offices, and laboratories, extends over usable area of about 10,000 square meters. The new campus is being financed entirely through external funding, thanks in large part to the unflagging efforts of TU alumnus Samih Sawiris. According to the 2008 cost guidelines for construction of the higher education facilities, the value of the building complex and its equipment is about 38 million euros. Sawiris is the head of Orascom Hotels und Development (OHD), a member of the Orascom group of companies. The costs of construction, service and maintenance, and operation of the building infrastructure are all being assumed in full by OHD. A cooperation agreement between TU Berlin and the Egyptian company not only establishes this funding structure, but also guarantees that the university will continue to enjoy academic and administrative autonomy.

The idea was developed in 2006, by Egyptian entrepreneur and Technische Universität Berlin alumnus Sawiris and Dr. Kurt Kutzler, Professor, who was the president of TU at the time. Sawiris studied economic engineering at TU Berlin from 1976 to 1980. “It is quite clear that Germany is ranked at the very top when it comes to technology and quality in industry, and the campus in El Gouna will help another important connection between Germany and Egypt to grow and flourish,” Sawiris says. The courses offered at the new site, along with the research conducted at the new TU Central Institute established at the El Gouna campus, will focus especially on the particular challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a region.

Thus far the only one of its kind in the world, this PPP project in the field of exporting education is enriching the internationalization strategy of TU Berlin by adding a very special flagship project. It will also offer the university and the state of Berlin an ideal way to connect with research activities and projects throughout the MENA region.

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