Enhancing STEM Education in Egypt (2020-2022)



Project Summary

Our project with Aswan University (ASWU) seeks to address Priority Area 5 of the Annual Program Statement.  Our aim is to develop collaborations with Egyptian academic institutions to promote study in the United States, the building of linkages between FIU and Aswan University and other Egyptian academic institutions, and to explore training opportunities in the US for Egyptian students and faculty.

The proposed US components of the program are:

  • STEM research and education:  A series of lectures and roundtables will be held virtually to discuss STEM education in the United States and FIU in particular as well as explore collaboration opportunities in STEM education and how FIU faculty could help ASWU faculty. 
  • International collaboration:  To explore international collaboration  Egyptian faculty will be invited to participate in a Collaboration Online International Learning (COIL) webinar with the US and other international faculty.  This will be an opportunity for ASWU faculty to network with other faculty and discover how they could get their students involved in COIL. The ways and means to accomplish a long-term relations ship between the two universities
  • Site visits: Visits by FIU to Aswan and hosting of an Egyptian professor to follow-up on what has been learned during the US team visit and to develop stronger ties between the Aswan University and FIU by designing a collaboration program for the short-, medium-, and long-term

Project Activities

The proposed project activities to be undertaken during the project implementation period ending November 30, 2022) are divided into three categories:

2.1 Virtual Exchanges

These exchanges will take place between the FIU and Aswan University faculty to cover the following topics:

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)
COIL training will involve two phases: Introducing Aswan University faculty and staff to COIL and preparing Aswan university faculty to integrate a COIL exchange into an existing course. The 75-minute online Introduction to COIL session is geared toward faculty across curriculum and degree levels, staff supporting or coordinating COIL, educational developers, instructional designers, and educational technologists. The session covers the reasons why faculty should choose COIL to achieve disciplinary, intercultural, and career development outcomes; the basics of COIL’s curriculum design; examples of COILs across undergraduate and graduate curriculum; benefits for students and faculty; training and support resource; and the way COIL links to mobility, research, career preparation, and student success. Two-and-a-half-hour COIL preparation training is more in-depth and can be conducted online or in person. This workshop explores the meaning of global learning and calls on faculty to reflect upon the aspects of their courses that would be enhanced through COIL; basics of internationalizing learning outcomes and assessment; technology and its relationship to collaboration; how to create collaborative assignments in an online environment; and basics of faculty matching and collaboration.

STEM Education
Faculty from the FIU Transformation Institute will conduct two workshops/webinars.  The objective of the first webinar will be to give an overview of the Institute, the programs, etc.  The second webinar will involve a panel of Aswan University and FIU Institute faculty talking about education research in their disciplines and STEM education in general. These webinars will be an opportunity for additional networking among the Aswan University and FIU faculty. The third meeting will serve to target the discussions to what the faculty are interested in based on an interest survey at an earlier point.  The details about each of the three sessions are listed below.

Session #1: Introduction to the FIU STEM Transformation Institute – Goal: Provide an overview of the Institute programs and main research projects, particularly the Learning Assistant Program, FIUteach (K12 teacher preparation program), and HHMI Faculty Scholar’s program. After Session #1, we will send a survey to the participants asking for their interests, areas that they would like to learn more about, potential areas of collaboration, etc.  Such information will be used to plan the Roundtable session.

Session #2: Research Programs of the STEM Transformation Institute – Goal:  Provide some examples of research projects conducted by faculty at the Institute, particularly in engineering. Provide opportunities for faculty networking. 

Session #3: Roundtable discussion about collaboration – Goal: Explore ideas and opportunities for future collaboration.

2.2 FIU Faculty Visit to ASWU

Discussions with Departments and Faculties to improve STEM programs, local outreach, international collaboration, and administration.  FIU faculty will lecture on the various topics and hold focus sessions on each of the topics to be addressed.  This visit will also serve to decide on the details of the research internships to be offered to the Egyptian students.  The visit schedule and content for the ASWU faculty will also be finalized during this visit. This visit will include a discussion for the engagement of representatives of South African university partners to allow for upscaling the collaboration in the future and the sustainability of the investment made by the US Embassy South Africa.  In addition, the FIU faculty members will make themselves available to address other stakeholders during their stay in South Africa, if requested by the US Embassy Cairo Program Manager.

2.3 ASWU Faculty Visit to FIU

This activity will focus on drawing on FIU’s best practices in the administration and implementation of STEM programs, local outreach, and international collaboration as well as management of research programs.  It will include working sessions with various FIU university leaders, deans, and faculty members, visits to research laboratories, and FIU’s industry partners.  Prior to the visit, virtual consultations will take place to discuss objectives, schedules, presentations, and expected outcomes.

US-Egypt Partnership Week

With financial support from the US Embassy Cairo, Dr. Boukerrou and Dr. Amal Elawady from Florida International University will be visiting Aswan University from March 27 to April 1.  The purpose of their visit is to promote AWSU and FIU collaboration.  During their visit, they will meet with the AWSU leadership team, faculty, and students to discuss collaboration between the two institutions.  They will make a series of presentations on topics related to research collaborations, studying at FIU, research funding opportunities.  You can find the detailed program below


Date Time Activity Speaker Target Audience
Sunday, March 27, 2022 10:00 – 11:00 am Meeting with AWSU President    
11:00 – 12:00 pm Tour AWSU Campus    
1:00 – 2:00 pm Meeting with Dean of Engineering    
2:00 – 3:00 pm Present program goals and objectives and Discuss visit schedule Dr. Boukerrou Engineering and other interested faculty
Monday, March 28, 2022 10:00 – 12:00 am Overview of FIU and College of Engineering Dr. Boukerrou Faculty and students
1:00 – 3:00 pm US Research Funding and Partnership Opportunities Dr. Boukerrou Faculty and students
Tuesday, March 29, 2022 10:00-12:00 pm Extreme events research Dr. Elawady Faculty and students
1:00 – 3:00 pm Overview of research programs at CEC Dr. Boukerrou Faculty and students
Wednesday, March 30, 2022 10:00 – 11:00 am Grants dn Funding (NHERI<,IUCRC, NICHE) Dr. Elawady Faculty and students
11:00 – 12:00 pm Studying at FIU: Presentation and Discussion Dr. Boukerrou and Dr. Elawady Students
1:00 – 3:00 pm Roundtable discussion: COIL, Visiting Scholars Program, Internship Program, etc. Dr. Boukerrou Faculty and students
Thursday, March 31, 2022 10:00-12:00 pm Sustainability of the program Dr. Boukerrou Faculty 
1:00 – 3:00 pm Open (TBD)