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Education in Egypt - statistics & facts

In 2021, Egypt had a growing population with dominating younger generations. This would generally entail increased pressure on the education system in the country. However, literacy rates reveal a higher rate among younger people. The youth literacy rate was 17 percentage points higher than the adult literacy rate in 2017. Since the uprising in 2011, the Egyptian Constitution has been changed and amended several times. The last change took place in 2014, extending compulsory education from 9 to 12 years, which put more emphasis on education.

Education structure and enrollment

The Egyptian education system starts at the pre-primary level. Nevertheless, mandatory education begins from the six years of primary education at the age of six, followed by three years of preparatory and three years of secondary. Among all education levels, primary schooling was the most crowded, with over 12.8 million students. Preparatory level students followed at around 5.2 million in 2019/2020. Regarding higher education, around 3.3 million students chose to continue studying after compulsory schooling, mostly in public universities.
In addition, the country has a religious teaching system called Al-Azhar that runs parallel to the public system and is independent of the Ministry of Education. The number of students in these schools followed the same trend as the general governmental schooling system, with over 932 thousand students at the elementary level.

Net flow of international students

As of the school year 2019/2020, 62.5 thousand foreign students were enrolled in higher education in Egypt. According to the latest data available, the bulk of migrant students in the North African nation was from East Asia and the Pacific. This can be due to an influx of Muslim students from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand mainly coming to study in Al-Azhar University, Egypt's first to issue degrees. In contrast, the number of Egyptians studying abroad, although on the rise, was close to 38.7 thousand.

Education staff and facilities

Primary schooling had the highest cumulative number of teaching staff, at to close to 441 thousand. This pattern persists in the Al-Azhar system as well. Moreover, the total number of educational institutions before tertiary education amounted to 67,529, including both the general and Al-Azhar schooling systems. Nevertheless, the country still needs to provide additional school places adequate to the growing population.


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