Here is a rough breakdown, provided by an assistant Provost during orientation:
- 5,500 full-time enrolled students
- 4,200 are undergraduates
- 85% of the undergrads are Egyptian
- 10% of the undergrads are from the region (North Africa/Middle East)
- 5% other international students
- 1,000 graduate students
- 400-500 non-degree students enroll each year (mostly study abroad)
Of the undergraduates, most of the Egyptians have some sort of international diploma from one of Cairo’s private schools. Admission to college in Egypt is by exam, with more than 95% attending public universities. The exam (much like the SATs in the US) heavily favors private school students (who are also relatively well-to-do financially). The assistant Provost who gave us these statistics pointed out that the school generally follows the national exam protocols in its admission process and claimed (unconvincingly to my mind) that it is the Egyptian testing system, not our school, that favors the elites (through the secondary school system).
The tuition here is $18,000; the median income in Cairo is $4,000. The university does provide financial assistance to those students who can’t afford the tuition. (I think the number is relatively small since most of them seem to be graduates of secondary schools whose tuition sometimes exceeds ours.) There is a new outreach program that provides scholarships to students from rural areas outside of Cairo. In terms of demographics, our graduate students differ from undergraduates. Most of them are graduates of the public university system.
My department, English and Comparative Literature, has 50 majors--30 undergraduates and 20 graduate students. I look forward to meeting them tomorrow.