Transnational education (TNE) is the stone thrown into the still waters of higher education in Egypt, it has been expanding in scale and significance in the past few years, and already brought itself to the fore. This qualitative research aspires to explore the views of higher education stakeholders in Egypt on the rationales, motives, and implications of hosting TNE. The study seeks to answer two research questions; 1) how do higher education stakeholders view the rationales, motives, and value of TNE provisions in Egypt as a host country, and 2) how are the economic, pedagogical, and socio-cultural implications of TNE perceived by stakeholders in Egypt. The study adopted a qualitative design combining two methods of inquiry (phenomenology and document analysis) to conduct the research at hand. The study included fieldwork of fifteen research interviews, covering a wide range of higher education stakeholders such as policymakers, senior government officials, higher education experts, university president, TNE and public university faculty, and students. The document analysis focused on the policy level analyzing the new legal provision of TNE in Egypt, as well as the higher education strategic priorities enacted in major government strategies in the 2030 vision. The theoretical framework encompasses the institutional theory, both the cultural cognitive and the rational choice versions, and the human capital theory as the lenses from which the results are interpreted and analyzed. The notion of globalization is also used as the meta-theory that can help provide a macro-level analysis and contextualization of TNE in host countries. The findings indicate that the position and impact of TNE in Egypt are not yet fully understood. The findings suggest that TNE is a highly circumstantial phenomenon that differs from a context to another. The views of higher education stakeholders fluctuate between enthusiasm and doubt. The direct higher education stakeholders (the optimists), who are involved in the TNE business, hope that TNE creates momentum in the local higher education system that improves access, encourages quality, and stimulates the better performance. Nevertheless, the indirect stakeholders (the skeptics), those who are involved in public higher education in Egypt, thought that transnational education is exclusive to the Egyptian elite and that there are pedagogical and cultural barriers to integrating it within the broader higher education sector.
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
International & Comparative Education Department
MA in International & Comparative Education
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
The American University in Cairo grants authors of theses and dissertations a maximum embargo period of two years from the date of submission, upon request. After the embargo elapses, these documents are made available publicly. If you are the author of this thesis or dissertation, and would like to request an exceptional extension of the embargo period, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval
Approval has been obtained for this item
(2020).Understanding the receiving countries' perspectives on transnational education: A phenomenological study in Egypt [Master's Thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Ibrahim, Bola. Understanding the receiving countries' perspectives on transnational education: A phenomenological study in Egypt. 2020. American University in Cairo, Master's Thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
Available for download on Friday, September 26, 2025