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Financing higher education in Egypt

This paper is part of a larger research project on financing higher education in 6 countries in the ERF region.
It is widely agreed that education is critical for faster economic growth, and, when distributed
widely, it is also critical for more egalitarian distribution of the benefits from economic growth
(Birdsall and London, 1997, Lant Pritchett, 1996). Not surprisingly, most developing countries,
including Egypt, have committed themselves in the wake of their independence to providing free
access at all levels of education to all of their citizens. The legacy of this commitment continues
today, as evidenced by the fact that the Egyptian government continues to be the main provider
and funder of education, including higher education. In 2007/2008, public expenditure on
education amounted to 4 percent of GDP, of which a good 1 percent was allocated to higher