Dr. Amr Salama, Minister of Higher Education; Dr. Lisa Anderson, AUC president and Dr. Magdi Qassem, head of NAQAAE
The American University in Cairo (AUC) celebrated its accreditation by the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education (NAQAAE), the body established by the Egyptian government in 2007 to foster quality assurance among all educational institutions. Upon receiving its accreditation, AUC has become the first university in Egypt to complete successfully the NAQAAE process of institutional endorsement. The celebration, took place on April 28 at AUC Tahrir Square campus, was attended by Amr Salama, Egyptian minister of higher education; Magdi Kassem, NAQAAE president; Lisa Anderson, AUC president; Medhat Haroun, AUC provost; and Ali Hadi, AUC distinguished professor, and founding director of the actuarial science program. The presidents of several Egyptian universities were also in attendance.
“The accreditation is a symbol of distinction, complementing AUC’s reputation and history of academic excellence,” Hadi said. “Although not required by law to apply for the NAQAAE accreditation, AUC decided to do so to pave the way for other Egyptian universities by providing information and material that will help them with their accreditation processes,” Hadi, who chaired the accreditation steering committee responsible for the preparation for the accreditation process, explained. For that purpose, AUC has launched a dedicated website at http://www.aucegypt.edu/about/naqaae. The site offers a compilation of materials documenting AUC’s preparation for and participation in the NAQAAE accreditation process.
The NAQAAE accreditation process included multiple site visits to AUC campuses, where the NAQAAE review team interviewed AUC students, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni. The review team also met with a cross-section of leaders from the AUC community seeking insight into AUC’s unique challenges, strengths, and opportunities. The committee evaluated three broad institutional elements: the quality of education and the personal services AUC provides to students and to the community; the university’s financial stability and sustainability; and the university’s governance and management.
In her remarks, Anderson noted that AUC benefited in two important ways from participating in the NAQAAE certification process. “We got very good advice from the reviewers. The report remarks, for example, on our faculty teaching load, and suggests it may be too high to permit time for the research we also expect from our professors. We agree with this assessment and plan to address it in the coming years.”
Anderson added that accountability and transparency are equally important to maintaining institutional quality. “The prospect that any institution will be expected to reveal and explain its internal administrative practices and procedures to knowledgeable reviewers tends, over time, to ensure higher quality administration. We found the process beneficial, and expect that our sister universities in Egypt will as well.
In addition to accreditation by NAQAAE, AUC holds institutional accreditation from the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States (MSCHE /Middle States), the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and the Supreme Council of Universities. Specialized international accreditation bodies accredit most of AUC’s programs and schools. The Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, the recognized accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology, has officially endorsed AUC’s computer science program. In addition, AUC’s construction engineering, electronics engineering and mechanical engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. AUC's School of Business is the first in North Africa to be awarded accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International.) The AACSB accreditation is considered to be the highest standard of achievement for business schools.