A British-led consortium has won a £9 million contract to train managers embarking on an ambitious programme to reform Egypt's education system.
The Educational Leadership Consortium, headed by Northumbria University, has beaten international competition to secure the lucrative deal.
As a result, more than 600 Egyptian education managers will be trained in the Northeast of England and a further 900 in Egypt.
Chris Williams, project manager at Northumbria University, said the Egyptian government was committed to an innovative and ambitious ongoing agenda of social and economic reform. President Hosni Mubarak has backed the programme and the signing of the contract was broadcast on Egyptian national television.
"Quality of education and the creation of a well-educated workforce is at the heart of this strategy, and the consortium's experience and expertise in running national leadership programmes means that we were well placed to secure this valuable contract," Dr Williams said.
The programme is funded by the European Union and will be run in conjunction with Newcastle University, human resources consultants The Hay Group and the Ain Shams University in Cairo. It forms a central plank of Egypt's education enhancement programme that aims to create reformist managers capable of bringing about improvements to the quality of teaching and standards of education in Egypt.
Bill Dennison, training programme director for Newcastle University's school of education, said it was a huge project for the two universities, representing the type of collaboration education secretary Charles Clarke praised in his recent visit to Newcastle.