Iman El-Kaffass is the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and the Executive Director of the Diversity Scholarship and of the Leadership in Education and Development Program (LEAD) at the American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt. In her position, she is responsible for designing and managing student scholarship programs and opportunities at AUC. The LEAD program as one of the scholarship programs is a joint effort between the Ministry of International Cooperation of Egypt, the United States Agency for International Development and the American University in Cairo. The program offers full tuition education scholarships to 54 school graduates every year (one male and one female from each of Egypt’s governorates).
Dr. El-Kaffass is founder and chair of the board of the Egyptian Association for Education and Development (EAED) a non-governmental organization working in the field of promoting education reform, human and societal development in Egypt. She is chair of the Advisory Board of the Egyptian Education for Employment Alliance sponsoring non-governmental organizations providing job opportunities for the youth of Egypt. Also, she is Advisor to the Global Youth Forum linking youth from all parts of the world to establish a dialogue for a better world future.
Dr. El-Kaffass is advisor to the Minister of Education and to the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Recently, she has been elected as the co-chair of the youth sub-committee of the National Committee of the UNESCO in Egypt. In 2006, Dr. El-Kaffass was appointed by the Prime Minister among 14 members of the Board of the Egyptian Youth Council setting youth policies for Egypt. In addition, she has assumed the responsibility of chairing the committee of Leadership Development of the Council.
Dr. El-Kaffass is holder of a Ph.D. degree in Higher Education Administration from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, the USA, with specialization in organizational assessment and development. Her Master’s Degree is in Public Administration with specialization in organizational development, from the American University in Cairo, and her bachelor’s degree is in Political Science, with specialization in political sociology from the American University in Cairo. Her research and professional interests are mainly in the domains of education, comprehensive human development, human rights & equal opportunity especially for women & people with special needs.
El-Kaffass, Iman (1999). A case study of a private university in Egypt (organizational diagnosis). OH: Bowling Green State University.
- El-Kaffass, Iman (2006). Increasing access to underprivileged female students in higher education: The leadership for education and development program. Paper presented at the International Conference on Women Empowerment, Egypt.
- Badrawi, H. & El-Kaffass, I. (2003) Assessment of private universities in Egypt. The National Democratic Party (NDP) Education Committee, Egypt.
- El-Kaffass, Iman (2000). The role of private universities in Egypt in higher education. Procedures of the Conference on Research and Education in Egypt. The American University in Cairo.
The Resources and Policies that Provide Greater Access to Higher Education
It’s vital for higher education institutions in Egypt to prepare competitive individuals to foster in an advanced learning society with democratic governance, and to be able to contribute to the country’s developing economy. Because higher education impacts the minds of the youth, and increases exposure to the outside world, individuals who are educated on this level are able to meet the challenges of globalization and the advanced skill requirements of the international community.
The purpose of this research is to contribute to the goal of improving access to higher education in Egypt by addressing the issue of government and institutional policies and resources. The project will analyze the reality of access to higher education by the different elements in the society. The research will also explore the existing resources and policies that impact – either positively or negatively - access to higher education in Egypt. In conclusion of the study, I will be surveying and comparing policies in countries that are trying to address these issues or have achieved some success, in particularly the US.
My experience with the Leadership for Education & Development program (LEAD, a program that extends educational opportunities to underprivileged students of Egypt), and the Diversity Scholarship Center at AUC, will enable me to effectively research and further explore innovative policies that provide greater access to higher education. I look forward to sharing my experience with my colleagues so that we can all build on strategizing effective ways for educational access.