September 27, 2018, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) celebrated today the successful reaffirmation of accreditation by Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). AUC is the first university in Egypt to receive this international accreditation. Out of 523 institutions worldwide accredited by MSCHE, only 17 including AUC are outside of the United States, including four in the Middle East. The University received the top level of MSCHE's reaffirmation of accreditation, without any requirements. Accredited universities by MSCHE include Columbia University, Cornell University and New York University.In celebration of the accreditation, a panel was held featuring Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Education, Youhansen Eid, NAQAEE President, Francis Ricciardone, AUC President, Ashraf Hatem, AUC Counselor, and Ehab Abdel Rahman, AUC Provost.
The celebration was also attended by presidents of public and private universities, cultural attaches, members of the specialized presidential council for education and research, members of the advisory council of Egypt’s scientists and experts, and a number of experts of higher education in Egyptian universities.
"The American University in Cairo has been a successful component of Egypt’s educational system for nearly 100 years, one that we are proud of," said Abdel Ghaffar, "when we want to highlight the quality of education in Egypt to our foreign visitors, we invite them to visit AUC given the significance of its international accreditations."
Highlighting the importance of this achievement and thanking all those involved, Ricciradone said, "Congratulations and thank you to all whose daily work to make AUC an amazing institution has won us this vitally important, highest official recognition of our performance at, or exceeding, the highest American standards."
After a rigorous self-assessment process and the production of a 100-page self-study report, AUC welcomed a team from MSCHE in March 2018 to observe the University’s congruence with its self-study, determine AUC’s compliance with the MSCHE standards and provide recommendations for areas of the University that can be further enhanced. During the visit, the eight-member MSCHE team met with all AUC constituencies to get a sense of University processes.
AUC’s Accreditation Steering Committee had been compiling data, considering the needs of the University and seeking input from community members, to finalize the self-evaluation presented to the MSCHE team.
With AUC’s recent reaffirmation of accreditation, MSCHE provided suggestions and recommendations and noted a number of significant accomplishments, including the establishment of Employability and Career Development Centers at a number of Egyptian public universities; improving the enrollment process; implementation of a cocurricular transcript; integrating planning, resource allocation and assessment in all areas of the University; as well as documenting and using data for planning and assessment.
“In higher education, institutional accreditation by a reputable agency, such as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, is an unparalleled hallmark of quality,” attested Iman Megahed ’90, ’92, AUC's chief strategy and institutional effectiveness officer. “At a time when accreditation is becoming considerably more rigorous, with accreditation probation and warning issued to some institutions worldwide, AUC’s accreditation was reaffirmed and praised on multiple fronts by the visiting team. The reaffirmation process has laid out our path as we move into the future to ensure that we continue to uphold the standards of excellence and continuously improve and become an even greater institution. Every member of the AUC community can feel a genuine sense of pride that they belong and contribute to the well-being and advancement of this University."
MSCHE is one of seven U.S.-based regional accreditors that accredit entire institutions, not individual programs, units or locations. It is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. “As completing a degree is a time-consuming, expensive and challenging process,” noted Megahed, “prospective students and parents need to be make sure that they are effectively allocating their time, energy and efforts by selecting an accredited institution by a recognized agency. Certificates from accredited universities can increase chances of admission to reputable institutions for further studies and significantly enhance employment prospects.”
Also in 2011, AUC became the first University in Egypt to be accredited at the institutional level by the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education (NAQAAE), a local government organization responsible for establishing quality standards for Egypt's educational institutions.