Reforming Educational Governance and Management in Egypt: National and International Actors and Dynamics


  • Mark Ginsburg Academy for Educational Development
  • Nagwa Megahed Ain Shams University
  • Mohammed Elmeski University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Nobuyuki Tanaka Kobe University



education system reform, decentralization, community participation, Egypt, international organizations.


This historical case study examines the rhetoric, action, and outcomes of educational policy reforms in Egypt during the first quarter-century of the presidency of Mohamed Hosni Mubarak. The findings are based on an extensive review of Egyptian government, international organization, and project documents as well as interviews with key stakeholders. The study focused on proposed and implemented changes in the organization and distribution of various governance and management functions across school/community, district/idarra, governorate/muddiriya, and national/central levels of the education system. During the period under review Egypt experienced movement though uneven toward increased decentralization, with calls for deconcentration of responsibility in 1981, Ministry of Education actions that restricted local decision-making authority in the 1990s, and some concerted efforts toward delegation and devolution of authority as well as responsibility after 2001. In terms of community participation, during this period there were calls for and actions toward implementing broader and deeper forms and degrees of involvement by parents, civil society, and businesses. We draw on the following concepts to analyze a develop an account of these developments: institutional framework, financial resources, system leaders' capacity and political will, civil society's leaders' capacity and political will, global dynamics, and the role of international organizations


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Author Biographies

Mark Ginsburg, Academy for Educational Development

Senior technical advisor for research and evaluation at the Academy for Educational Development (USA) and coeditor of the Comparative Education Review. He previously was a faculty member at the University of Aston in Birmingham (England, 1976-1978), the University of Houston (Texas, USA, 1978-1987), and the University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA, 1987-2004). He directed the Faculties of Education Reform project of the USAID-funded Educational Reform Program in Egypt (2004-2006). He has published extensively on topics of policy/institutional reform, teachers/teacher education, and policy/practice-oriented research and evaluation.

Nagwa Megahed, Ain Shams University

Assistant Professor at Ain Shams University in Egypt. She is currently a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence for Middle Eastern Cultural and Language Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to that, she worked as a Senior Technical Advisor for Research and Evaluation at USAID-Funded Education Reform Program in Egypt in cooperation with Michigan State University and the Academy for Educational Development. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, where she also served as a Graduate Student Researcher in the Institute for International Studies in Education, working on projects related to educational reform and teacher education. She has published articles and book chapters on the reform of educational policy and practices, teacher education and work, gender inequality, and Islam and education.

Mohammed Elmeski, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Ph.D. student in the Comparative and International Education Program, Department of Educational Policy and Administration, College of Human Development and Education, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. A Moroccan, he has taught Arabic and English as a Second Language. His research interests include educational policy, complementary education, and girls' education.

Nobuyuki Tanaka, Kobe University

Ph.D. candidate at Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University (Japan) and a consultant for the World Bank (USA). His dissertation topic is access and equity of higher education in Egypt. He previously was field researcher and project coordinator at Mitsubishi Research Institute (Egypt, 2008-2009), and a visiting scholar at the Academy for Educational Development (USA, 2007-2008). He has published on topics of education and labor market. He also has several field experiences such as Ghana and Yemen.




How to Cite

Ginsburg, M., Megahed, N., Elmeski, M., & Tanaka, N. (2010). Reforming Educational Governance and Management in Egypt: National and International Actors and Dynamics. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 18, 5.