CAIRO, December 17, 2011—The Institute of International Education held an event at the British University in Egypt on December 17 to welcome the 2011 LOTUS Scholarship Program students. The event featured speeches by three incoming 2011 students and three students from the previous year. Student remarks focused on why they applied for LOTUS, what they have learned thus far, and their hopes and dreams for themselves and their country. The Honorable Anne Patterson, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, delivered remarks.
Ambassador Patterson stated, "The LOTUS Scholarship Program is an example of what leading change in Egypt really means. This program puts into practice the shared Egyptian and U.S. vision of quality higher education and builds sustainability for Egypt to take the lead in this vision."
The LOTUS Scholarship Program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the support of the American people. The Program is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) through its’ MENA Region Office based in Cairo, Egypt in partnership with a consortium of Egyptian private universities and local organizations.
The 1st Annual LOTUS Student-led Workshop was introduced by a LOTUS student. The Annual workshops are an opportunity for LOTUS students to educate themselves on topics of importance to Egypt’s development and youth. Students are responsible for the conceptualization, planning, organization, and implementation of the Workshops. Through participation in the Workshops, students gain valuable experience in event preparation, planning, and implementation, as well as in time management, problem solving, and teamwork. The Workshop planning and implementation process fosters an environment of collegiality and teamwork in which the students form networks with each other, with their peers in their universities, and with other Workshop participants so that together they can be a force for change and impact Egypt positively.
The Workshop was planned by the 44 students who entered the LOTUS Scholarship Program in 2010 and was attended by all 150 LOTUS students, 70 students from partner universities, IIE staff and alumni volunteers, partner university Presidents and LOTUS coordinators, partner NGO staff and volunteers, and other invited guests.
The LOTUS 2010 intake students chose Workforce Preparation and Challenges in Education in Egypt as the theme for the Workshop. During the Workshop, participants sought to understand and address the gaps that exist in Egypt’s education system and the impact on the labor market. Participants identified and brainstormed current challenges and in doing so gained valuable insight into challenges in the educational system, workforce preparation, and labor market needs. Among the possible challenges discussed were infrastructure, curriculum, teaching methodologies, resources for extra-curricular activities/skill development/internships, and support systems for students.
The Workshop began with a plenary session in which an education and employment expert identified and discussed key challenges in education which impact the workforce and the employability of youth in Egypt. Students and guests then broke out into working groups in which they brainstormed solutions to the key challenges discussed in the plenary session with the goal of identifying solutions and activities that could enhance the higher education experience of Egyptian students. Participants were encouraged to come up with creative and alternative solutions and activities that LOTUS students could develop and implement in their home governorates. Working group facilitators were young, dynamic, entrepreneurs and community leaders who speak to the given issues, add value, and advise students based on their personal experiences and expertise. Each working group presented their outcomes and ideas to the larger group. A second plenary session was held on themes related to entrepreneurship, non-traditional careers and the importance of innovation.
About the Lotus Scholarship Program
The LOTUS Scholarship Program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the generous support of the American people. The Program is managed by the Institute for International Education (IIE), one of the world’s largest and most experienced international education and training organizations.
The LOTUS Scholarship Program offers comprehensive scholarship packages to 150 talented and deserving Egyptian students to obtain degrees from Egyptian private universities in fields of studies that are important to Egypt’s current and future development.
LOTUS Scholarship recipients attend one of five private universities participating in the Program:
- Ahram Canadian University
- British University in Egypt
- Future University in Egypt
- Modern Sciences & Arts University
- Pharos University in Alexandria
Learn more about this and many other programs administered by IIE's Cairo Office
Read the U.S. Embassy in Cairo's press release on the 2011 LOTUS Scholarship Program Welcome Celebration