The “Universities: Builders of Modernity and/or Education Providers” Workshop Comes to a Close

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Alexandria— On Saturday, 14 June 2008, the “Universities: Builders of Modernity and/or Education Providers” workshop came to a close. The Workshop was organized by the Magna Charta Observatory and the Arab reform Forum and attended by Dr. Yousry El-Gamal, Minister of Education, General Adel Labib, Governor of Alexandria, and a number of academia from all over the world.

Dr. Andris Barblan, Secretary General, Magna Charta Observatory stated that the participants have agreed to issue a declaration of principles, including the recommendations concerning the development of university education and its role in the progress of communities, and to involve civil society and private sector organizations and individuals in the educational development process.

Dr. Barblan added that the Magna Charta Observatory is considered a reference for several high education systems around the world. Part of the Observatory’s role is to review educational experiences around the world, to ensure parallel development in the educational process in various areas of the world.

Dr. Hossam Badrawy, Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, and Head of the Education Committee in the People's Assembly, pointed out that Egypt has a clear vision for the development of university education, however this would require the involvement of the government, civil society, private sector and individuals.

Dr. Badrawy added that the challenges facing higher education in Egypt are still the same since the age of Taha Hussein, the Doyen of Arabic literature, and that we are caught up in a vicious circle without taking concrete steps towards the reform of university education.

Dr. Yousry El-Gamal spoke about the need to reach the principle of the quality of education, in light of the challenges posed by scientific progress in all aspects of life; in education, employment and production.

Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director of the Library of Alexandria, gave a presentation on the revolution of information, explaining that the world is very rapidly moving towards modernization, and the wisdom lies in how to use this knowledge and understanding to keep up with the progress, and therefore we must understand the value of universities.

Dr. Serageldin added that universities in the future will be based on self-education, societal responsibility, and scientific excellence. Therefore, we must invest in the youth, encourage them, and unleash their creative abilities to change the world.


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