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The University of Liverpool Scraps Plans for Egyptian Campus

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Plans by the University of Liverpool to open a campus in Egypt have been scrapped after academics and students opposed the idea.

Leaked documents from the university's senior executive warned that it could face reputational damage if it were to peruse the idea. They also said that Egypt's "political and operating environment" was challenging.

The British government and Universities UK have been promoting partnerships between British higher education institutions and their Egyptian counterparts. This has led to a series of memorandum of understanding agreements and talks opened up the possibility of British institutions establishing campuses to facilitate collaborative research, student and staff exchange programmes, joint funding applications, and capacity building.

However, opposition to the plans have grown, with 200 prominent academics and others opposing the collaboration, citing unanswered questions about the abduction and murder of Cambridge PhD student Giulio Regeni.

In addition to highlighting the Giulio Regeni case, those against the proposals also raised concerns about academic freedom, the welfare of LGBT staff, and the trend towards marketisation of the sector.

A spokesperson from the university said: "The University of Liverpool has undertaken scoping work to assess the possibility of an educational partnership in Egypt."

"Following careful consideration of this information, the university has decided not to pursue this possibility further."