The Middle East Institute of Higher Education (MEIHE)
Through the Middle East Institute of Higher Education (MEIHE), the Department of Educational Studies plays a role in educational policy and reform in the region. By connecting universities to schools, European universities to Arab universities, academics to practitioners, and policymakers to students, the MEIHE demonstrates a progressive and evidence-based approach to policy planning and capacity building. The institute utilizes cutting-edge research to incubate educational reform.
MEIHE Contribution To Egypt
Action Research for all Schools ARAS
Outreach to 9 Faculties of education under the Project Action Research For All Schools ARAS. What this has meant is that MEIHE has signed agreements with nine faculties of education in upper, middle, and lower Egypt to train their graduate students and faculty on how to conduct action research. Through funding it received from Ford MEIHE was able to improve the writing of the thesis and support the candidates but also in the meanwhile to improve the teaching and learning in 100 Schools as a result of action research.
Outreach to 250 trainees for thesis writing on action research from national universities.
Development of an ARAS training kit accredited by the Government through the Professional Academy for Teachers PAT.
Development of a unit for Action Research at PAT through the project.
Using the kit and the action research program to train 750,000 teachers from Public schools seeking promotion through PAT.
Developing three centers of excellence with trained trainers for Action Research in three universities to spread the culture in Aswan, Ain Shams and Alexandria, and the surrounding universities.
Courses on Action research as a result of the program established in Helwan and Alexandria.
Policy brief produced on action research.
The kit will be used this year regionally in the various governorates.
TEMPUS: Capacity Development of Faculties of Education in International approaches to teacher education (CDFE)
MEIHE, the Department of Educational Studies at The American University in Cairo (AUC) was awarded a three-year TEMPUS/EU grant in October 2012. The project aims to build the capacity of selected faculties of education and higher education institutions in the MENA region by introducing them to international best practices from the EU in three strategic areas: action- research, effective practicum, and school-based teacher Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
The project aimed to strengthen partnerships between universities and schools. Learning resulting from this project will feed into two regional centers of excellence (PAT and QRTA) for sustainable capacity building of higher education institutions across the region. In addition, the project created a collaborative network between faculties of education in some EU countries and some selected partners in the MENA region.
The universities from the EU are the UK: Institute of Education, University of London; Leicester University; Open University; Malta: University of Malta; Sweden: University of Stockholm. The Universities from MENA are Egypt: American University in Cairo (Main Applicant of grant); Assiut University; Helwan University and Alexandria University; Lebanon: American University of Beirut; Universite de Saint Joseph; Palestine: Bir Zeit University; Al Najah University.
Emphasis is placed on research, documenting best practices in the EU, taking stock of the situation in the MENA region, exchange study visits between all partners, and the dissemination of the results of training, experience, and collaborative learning in workshops, publications, and Videos. All these activities resulted in the Capacity Development of Faculties of Education (CDFE).
Reform of Faculties of Education (2012 –present) was partially funded through MEIHE grants to do the following:
Supported the mobilization towards reform in all faculties of Education through four national workshops reaching 600 faculty members.
Supported the strategic planning towards reform through four planning and transformation workshops with the Supreme Council of Universities.
Produced a strategy policy paper that will be piloted in Zagazig, Ain Shams, Assiut, and Alexandria.
Supported the Faculties of Education by offering research on best global practices and programs in international schools of education.
Supported the reform process through international higher education experts from Finland on two consecutive visits with participation from all FOE deans and other experts.
Dual faculty and school reform: ERASMUS +2016
This is a European Union-funded program that AUC competes for at the level of higher education. MEIHE was awarded this grant for 750,000 Euros based on a proposal presented to the EU around the establishment of school-university partnerships for the provision of professional development strategies that would lead to the improvement of both faculties of education and schools that are appended as laboratory schools to the various faculties.
The project entailed signing an MOU with both the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Education to allow for the partnership to happen. The project is very labor-intensive and is a consortium partnership between eight universities in Europe and Egypt and the consortium is led by MEIHE at AUC. The Project has very many activities around mentorship, training, capacity development, and the development of materials. The strategies used are the development of peer communities of learners at the School and University levels. Moreover, the project, through twinning systems between European and Egyptian universities aims at transforming classroom teaching, learning, and management. Much research is involved in the project to pull out the evidence for the transformation.
A school-university partnership was established for the first time as part of both pre-university and university reform to build the capacity of faculties of education to enhance and modernize continuous professional development in the Egyptian school context.
1. Protocol signed with the Minister of Education and the Minister of Higher Education to Establish Professional Development Lab schools in Egypt
2. 43 Professional schools established
3. 150 mentors trained
4. 100+ peer communities of learners developing (each with a membership of 10-15 professionals)
5. Pedagogical materials being developed to be accredited by the government
6. Capacity building of the quality assurance units in schools
7. Ongoing professional development of schools
The Educational Management Centennial Lab 2019-2020
The education system in Egypt is unquestionably the largest in the Middle East and North Africa. It covers more than 55,000 schools and 1.8 million teachers for roughly 20 million pupils. For many years, the various strategic plans for Egypt have called for decentralization as a means of solving the many challenges faced by the system and also for the modernization of a system that has been traditionally highly centralized with a very heavy bureaucracy. Recently the Ministry of Education in Egypt has launched a reform that requires dynamic leadership in order to make a paradigm shift towards learning. Each of the twenty-seven governorates is endowed with an education directorate (Idara) headed by a director.
The Middle East Institute for Higher Education (MEIHE) at the Graduate School of Education created an education management lab to serve as an incubator for those directors who would act towards each other as a peer community of learners to support their transformation from traditional civil servants to proactive leaders in their own governorates capable of supporting the new required transformation initiated by the government of Egypt. School-based reform is the approach selected.
In July 2019 the first phase of the lab was implemented. MEIHE had the first buy-in workshop for the centennial lab initiative on educational management with the participation of heads of local educational directorates (Idara) from various governorates as well as some middle-range policymakers from the central MOE. The purpose of the meeting was to get their buy-in on the program and to co-design the content. The program is jointly developed between MOE, MEIHE, and the executive leadership initiative from the School of Business. The meeting went very well and the topics presented centered around decentralization, leadership for change, school-based reform, and community participation. A report was produced reflecting the proceedings of the meeting and the outcomes mainly representing the desired learning and coaching.
The results of the workshop, together with extensive networking with the MOH officials resulted in the approval of the second phase, which aimed towards developing the material and training on the identified set of skills identified in phase one through a series of workshops. The incidence of COVID-19 presented a major challenge and threatened the implementation yet, the Education management centennial lab redesigned the workshops to be online and went on with their ambitious plan. The plan entailed the conduct of eight online workshops with the participation of the Idara lead trainers and some of their directors.
During the first day June 3, 2020 MEIHE set the tone and managed to introduce the team to the topics of the planning workshop conducted in phase one particularly school-based reform within a decentralized context. In the second workshop on June 4, the lab moved straight into school-based professional development and the reactions were amazing as well. During the following week, participants analyzed their surrounding school environment to detect using SWOT analyses the covid-19 situation and send the outcome of their analyses to prepare for the third workshop.
The third workshop, June 10, was amazing where the instructors presented a comprehensive analysis of their work with frequencies and priorities and then broke them into separate rooms/working groups for solutions and further analysis.
On the fourth workshop June 11, a list of the issues selected was prepared particularly on teachers. An introduction was made to action research and the cyclical phases of how to conduct such research. They were then sent off to rooms and worked in groups to come up with policies and strategies reached through research. Again the results were stupendous. They were really engaged and worked very hard.
The fifth and sixth workshops were held on June 17, 18. It was about going deeper into the mechanics and tools of action research and had some group work. The accredited kits and material on all the topics covered that they will use in their constituencies were delivered to each participant. The sixth workshop was largely on mentorship, collaboration, and teamwork and again there was a lot of engagement and innovative ideas.
An agreement with the Executive Leadership Program in the school of business was effectuated to deliver the seventh and eighth workshops on 24 and 25 of June 2020 as the final part of leadership for change in times of challenges. Again the two workshops went very well and were extremely well received.
Participants have formed a Peer Community of Learners and are very eager to learn more and keep connected. The centennial Education management lab has succeeded in creating a learning outreach model that is impactful, can be sustainable, and mainstreamed through additional funding.