Egypt considers standardised testing for university admissions

Country needs a more fair and transparent admissions system, says head of Supreme Council of Universities

April 24, 2017
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The Egyptian government is mulling the idea of introducing standardised testing for university admissions, according to the head of one of the higher education ministry’s key administrative arms.

Ashraf Hatem, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Universities, was reported by the Egypt Independent to be working on reviving a proposal that would form the National Egyptian Council for Evaluation and Assessment, which would manage students’ admissions to higher education institutions.

Dr Hatem, whose organisation forms one-third of the bodies in the ministry of higher education, said students needed a separate general and specialised evaluation besides tests in sciences, maths and the English language, prior to admittance to a university. He added that this process would take about three years to be carried out.

Currently, Egyptian students looking to gain access to higher education depend solely on their high school results, a system that is not replicated in any other country, Dr Hatem said in a speech at a recent conference on the quality of education and accreditation, the newspaper reported. As such, he stressed, Egypt required more fair and transparent methods to improve the situation.

Dr Hatem cited the SAT test in the United States, the capabilities test in Saudi Arabia, and other standardised assessments in China as examples of other nations’ university admissions processes.

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