Karl Baldacchino

Egyptian interest to study abroad on the decline


In the midst of President Sisi’s re-election in Egypt, the country continues to face serious economic challenges. In the last year, authorities have implemented three significant currency devaluations, which, according to forecasts by UK-based bank HSBC, could further weaken the Egyptian pound against the dollar, with the Egyptian pound being considered one of the worst-performing currencies in 2023.

As a result, in recent months, Studyportals data has noted a steep nosedive in relative Egyptian interest in studying a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme abroad, seeing a 22.3% decline in the last 12 months. The decline started after May 2023, when Egyptian inflation had risen to approximately 40.3%, a crucial point that may strongly deter students from studying abroad due to increased costs, reduced scholarship value, and concerns about economic stability in their chosen study destinations.

Figure 1: Year-over-year change in relative Egyptian interest, on-campus Bachelor’s and Master’s
Figure 2: Trend in relative Egyptian interest towards on-campus Bachelor’s and Master’s (2021-2023)


That being said, although traditional study destinations like the UK, the US, and Canada have witnessed a slight decline in interest from Egypt, it is clear that affordability is top of mind for these students as Italian, Polish, and Spanish institutions experience increased interest.

Figure 3: Top study destinations according to Egyptian interest (grey bars) and year-over-year change (coloured bars), on-campus Bachelor’s and Master’s

When examining the subject areas that continue to interest Egyptian students, we observe sustained enthusiasm for Engineering and Computer Science. Additionally, there is a notable increase in interest in Business programmes, which has now become the most sought-after academic field in this market.


Figure 4: Year-over-year change in relative Egyptian interest towards disciplines, on-campus Bachelor’s and Master’s

As noted by the American University in Cairo, recent devaluations raise questions about the country’s economic future and the impact on livelihoods, prompting concerns and uncertainties in the midst of these financial challenges. Institutions would be wise to pay attention to this crucial source market for international student recruitment, such as by supporting Egyptian students with financial aid, scholarships, flexible payment options, online learning resources, and enhancing counselling and mental health support services.

Curious to Learn More? Explore Our Analytics Tools for Enhanced Student Recruitment Strategies and Market Diversification.


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