No more collusion with Egypt’s military regime, say hundreds of academics

Academics whose research and teaching is being leveraged to maximise transnational student revenues and whitewash human rights abuses are speaking out in protest at UK HE senior management’s collusion with the Egyptian regime. Over 200 academics, including many from the University of London, have launched an open letter condemning the crackdown against the regime’s critics and calling for an end to “business as usual” for UK Higher Education institutions operating in Egypt, following the decision by Coventry University, University of London, University of Hertfordshire and others to work with private education providers to offer their degrees in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital.

UK universities are showing their willingness to put potential revenue from student fees before commitment to human rights and academic freedoms, by pursuing partnerships with private educational firms running “branch campuses” or offering UK degrees in Egypt,” the letter states. We call on UK universities operating in or planning to open for business in Egypt to suspend these projects until the human rights situation improves enough to ensure that academic freedoms are protected and to join us in a public statement calling on the regime to release political prisoners, respect human rights and protect freedom of expression.”

Last year, the University of Liverpool came under fire for agreeing in principle to open a campus in Egypt, but backtracked after hundreds of academics wrote to the Guardian condemning the move.

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