- American University in Cairo
The American University in Cairo الجامعة الأمريكية بالقاهرة Established 1919 Type Private President Lisa Anderson Admin. staff Full-time 384
Students 6,553 Location Cairo, Egypt Campus New Cairo, Egypt (Main Campus) and Tahrir Square (Downtown Campus) Website www.aucegypt.edu/
The American University in Cairo (AUC) is an independent, non-profit, apolitical, secular institution of higher learning  located in Cairo, Egypt. The university’s mission is to provide an American liberal arts education to students from all socio-economic backgrounds in Egypt and other nations around the world, and to make substantial contributions to Egypt's intellectual life and culture.
The university offers American-style education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels, and it provides an extensive continuing education program. The university promotes the ideals of American education, professional education, and lifelong learning.
The AUC student body represents over 100 countries  and includes over 300 North American study abroad students. AUC's faculty members, adjunct teaching staff and visiting lecturers are internationally diverse as well and include academics, business professionals, diplomats, journalists, writers and others from the United States, Egypt and other countries.
In the 2010 QS World University Rankings, The American University in Cairo was amongst the top 600 universities worldwide, with its life sciences programs ranked joint 209th globally.
AUC was placed among the best business school in Africa and the Middle East in the 2010 QS Global 200 Business Schools Report.
AUC offers undergraduate programs and graduate programs, as well as continuing education opportunities within its six schools, 10 research centers and the AUC Forum. The university’s English-language liberal arts environment is designed to promote critical thinking, language and cultural skills as well as to foster in students an appreciation of their own culture and heritage and their responsibilities toward society. The university’s objective of promoting international understanding is supported by means of scholarships, learned discourse, a multicultural campus environment and The American University in Cairo Press.
AUC holds institutional accreditation from the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States. AUC's engineering programs are accredited by ABET (formerly Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) and the business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance College Schools of Business (AACSB.)  In Egypt, AUC operates within the framework of the 1975 protocol with the Egyptian government, which is based on the 1962 Cultural Relations Agreement between the U.S. and Egyptian governments. In the United States, AUC is licensed to grant degrees and is incorporated by the State of Delaware.
Undergraduate and Graduate Schools
- School of Business, Economics & Communications
- School of Humanities and Social Sciences
- School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
- School of Sciences and Engineering
- School of Continuing Education
- Graduate School of Education
- The AUC Forum applies respected academic standards to the analysis of policy-oriented issues. In addition, the AUC Forum highlights issues that bridge the Middle East and the wider world.
- The Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) was first established in 2000 as the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies program (FMRS) and was expanded in 2008 into a Regional Center encompassing all forms of international mobility, whether voluntary or forced, economic or political, individual or collective, temporary or permanent. CMRS activities include graduate education, research and outreach activities. CMRS offers a Master of Arts in migration and refugee studies, a graduate diploma in forced migration and refugee studies, and a new graduate diploma in Applied Psychosocial Interventions for forced migrants and refugees. The CMRS research program includes a systematic and comparative inventory of the situation regarding migration and refugee movements across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), as well as in-depth studies of emerging issues in the region.
- The Center for Translation Studies is a research facility that fosters collaborative outreach programs and research in translation and translation studies within an interdisciplinary context.
- The Institute for Gender and Women's Studies is a multipurpose and interdisciplinary research center that serves scholars interested in gender and women's studies in the Middle East/North Africa, South Asia and Africa.
- The Desert Development Center conducts research on ecologically sound and sustainable land development, trains desert settlers and investors and serves desert communities by interacting with the people, offering extension services, disseminating valuable results, providing new crop varieties and techniques.
- The Economic and Business History Research Center (EBHRC) was established in early 2004 to create a repository of first hand accounts of Egypt’s contemporary history, with special emphasis on economic and business history.
- El Khazendar Business Research and Case Center provides case studies and other educational services offering students participant-centered learning tools. KCC's services are dedicated to developing top caliber students, connecting businesses and students in the region and ultimately contributing to the betterment of the society through academic research and practical applications.
- The John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement consolidates university activities aimed at encouraging engaged citizenship and service and promotes philanthropic giving in the Arab region. Combining learning, research, service and advocacy, the center works to expand the boundaries of philanthropy, moving it beyond charity toward social justice and development.
- The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research provides independent research in American studies, both within the university and with the outside community.
- The Social Research Center conducts and encourages multidisciplinary social science research in Egypt and the Arab region, trains researchers, guides and assists graduate students, scholars and organizations engaged in social science research in the region.
- The Science and Technology Research Center supports a variety of nanoscience and technology-oriented projects. Research activities are centered around generic imaging, analysis and fabrication equipment and focus on nanomaterials characterization and design and fabrication of micro-opto-electromechanical systems.
The division of Student Affairs provides essential student services in the Offices of Enrollment Services, Admission, Student Financial Affairs, Career Advising and Placement Services (CAPS), and facilitates relevant student programs and leadership opportunities through The First Year Experience (orientation), International Student Affairs, Counseling Center, Mentoring Unit, Residential Life, Office of Student Development and Sports.
Student activities are facilitated by the Office of Student Development within the context of university policy and the constitution of the General Assembly of the Student Body. The Office of Student Development includes three units: Student Organizations Activities, Community Service, and Cultural Programs.
Student life programs include:
- Student Union
- Student Associations and Clubs
- Student Organized Conferences
- The Community Service Program
- Cultural Activities
- Lectures and Concerts
- Student Publications
Students have a choice of housing options. A dormitory in Zamalek – a small island on the Nile in downtown Cairo – is located about 45 minutes from the campus. Students can also reside in new housing cottages located on the New Cairo campus.
Student associations, clubs, and conferences
Probably the biggest distinctive factor that sets apart AUC from other academic institutions in the region, is its vibrant and dynamic student base. Most of the student activities at AUC are large scale activities organized by the students, to the students and for the students. These activities encompass a wide variety of social, political, and economic issues. And all participating students get to have a first row seat at experiencing post university life by being involved in theses activities. Such activities include but are not limited to:
- The Student Union
- Theater and Film Club
- Model Business Association
- Model United Nations
- Model African Union
- Model Arab League
- Model Council of Ministers
- The International Conference on Global Economy
- The International Student Leadership Conference
- The Help Club
- Petroleum Club (PC)
- Alashanek Ya Balady (For my country)
- Al-Quds Club
- Volunteers in Action
- Friends in Need
- The Anti Cancer Team
- The Safari Club
- Hand in Hand
- The Political Science Association
- Entrepreneur's Society
- Finance Club
- Mechanical Engineering Club (MEC)
- Astronomy Club
- The Psychology Club
- Shutter Stoppers
Governance and administration
AUC is an independent institution governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees; the President of AUC is also an ex-officio member of the Board. There are twenty-three individuals designated as Advisory Trustees. The Board has its own by-laws and elects a chair for an annual term. The Board of Trustees reviews and approves all major policies, the university budget and major facilities and program development plans. There are no students on the Board. The university is administered by a president selected by the Board of Trustees. In 2010, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Provost Lisa Anderson the 11th AUC President, making her the first woman to assume that role since the university was founded. Anderson assumed the presidency on January 1, 2011.
The President’s cabinet comprises the Provost, Vice President and Executive Secretary of the Board of Trustees, Vice President for Planning and Administration, Vice President for Student Affairs, a Counselor acting as a liaison between the university and the Egyptian government, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Vice President for Finance. The president is also advised by the University Senate and senior administrators. The provost is advised by the Provost’s Council, which is made up of university deans and a vice provost.
AUC Past Presidents
- Lisa Anderson (2011–present)
- David C. Arnold (2003–2011)
- John D. Gerhart (1998–2003)
- Donald McDonald (1990–1997)
- Richard F. Pederson (1977–1990)
- Cecil K. Byrd (1974–1977)
- Christopher Thoron (1969–1974)
- Thomas A. Bartlett (1963–1969)
- Raymond F. McLain (1954–1963)
- John S. Badeau (1944–1953)
- Charles Watson (1919–1944)
Historical development of the university
The American University in Cairo was founded in 1919 by American Mission in Egypt, sponsored by the United Presbyterian Church of North America. It was dedicated to the cultural enrichment and modernization of Egypt. For its first 27 years the university was shaped by its founding president, Dr. Charles A. Watson. He wanted to create an English-language university based on high standards of conduct and scholarship and to contribute to intellectual growth, discipline, and character of the future leaders of Egypt and the region. He also believed that such a university would greatly improve America's understanding of the area.
Originally, AUC was intended to be both a preparatory school and a university. The preparatory school opened to 142 students on October 5, 1920 in the 1860s Khairy Pasha palace, Ahmad Khairy Pasha was a former minister of education. The first diplomas issued were junior college-level certificates given to 20 students in 1923. At first an institution only for males, the university enrolled its first female student, Eva Habib Masri, in 1928 - forty years before Princeton University would do the same. That same year, the first university class graduated with two bachelor of arts and one bachelor of science degrees awarded. Master's degrees were offered in 1950.
In 1951, the last class of preparatory students graduated, and AUC officially became university-level institution. It was also in this decade that the government of Egypt claimed that the university's original name, The American University at Cairo, diminished the city. Accordingly, the university changed its name, substituting "at" with "in."
To further establish its presence, the university expanded its academic offerings. The Social Science Research Center was established in 1953. In 1956, the School of Oriental Studies was incorporated into the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as The Center for Arabic Studies and The English Language Institute was established. University degree work was consolidated into The Faculty of Arts and Sciences where programs in sociology, anthropology, political science, economics and an expanded natural sciences program were added to the curriculum.
Another landmark in the history of the university was the development of progressional programs including the departments of engineering, computer science, journalism and mass communication, and management. The American University in Cairo Press was established in 1960 and today publishes up to 1,000 books annually. It is regarded as the Arab world's top English language publishing house.
In 1960, AUC enrolled approximately 400 academic students. By 1969 the university had more than tripled its degree enrollments. Within this period, the university opened the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) which attracted students from around the world who wish to study Arabic. Adult education expanded simultaneously and now serves approximately tens of thousands of individuals each year in non-credit courses and contracted training programs.
The Desert Development Center was established in 1979 by AUC as a center for applied research and training to promote sustainable development in Egypt's reclaimed desert areas. Growth continued through the 1980s and it was during this time that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education granted AUC full accreditation. AUC's first bookstore opened in 1985.
In 1993, the academic programs offered through 13 departments were organized into three schools: Humanities and Social Sciences; Sciences and Engineering; and Business, Economics and Communication. In 2007, the university's Center for Adult and Continuing Education was renamed the School of Continuing Education and in 2008, Adham Center for TV Journalism was renamed the Kamal Adham Center for Journalism, Training and Research. In 2009, The university added three new schools: the Graduate School of Education, the School of Business and the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP). The founding dean for GAPP is Ambassador Nabil Fahmy, former Egyptian ambassador to the United States and an AUC alumnus.
Early religious controversies
Some Egyptians did not welcome the creation of a Western-based university, whose religious ties made it suspect. Missionaries and their practices of conversion were not well received. There were several controversies that surrounded the AUC which fueled the fire that it was related to the Protestant missionary movement. In 1932, a Muslim student reported that he had been kidnapped by members of the AUC faculty with the hope of converting him, but was later released. The Egyptian press utilized this as a chance to lash out at the university. A few months later, a Muslim student failed his course and accused the AUC of using missionary tactics and degrading Islam. This was followed by another round of harsh critiques from local press. These stories, although most likely exaggerated, seemed likely since in the 1920s the Dean of the AUC admitted to evangelicalism and that classes on Bible-studying were necessary for all students.
Additionally, there were issues between the founder of the university Charles A. Watson and those in the United States who wanted to see evangelicalism play a larger role in the AUC's goals. In 1922, after years of writing that the university should be more missionary-based, Reverend J.R. Alexander met with Watson. Their meeting created an even bigger divide between the goals that Watson had for the university and the goals that the United Presbyterian Church of North America had for the university. Eventually, in 1926, they came to some understanding that it simply was not possible for the AUC to maintain such close religious ties and be taken seriously within Egypt. Watson was becoming increasingly aware that the best that they can hope to achieve in Egypt is to promote the imitation of good moral and ethical behavior. This realization by Watson allowed the university to grow without the potential religious problems in the future.
AUC's Tahrir Square and New Cairo campuses
The university's Tahrir Square campus - AUC Tahrir Square- was originally built in the late 1860s as Khairy Pasha palace and became the AUC campus in the 1920s. Built in the neo-Malmuk style, the palace inspired an artchitectural style that has been replicated throughout Cairo. Ewart Hall was established in 1928, named for William Dana Ewart, the father of an American visitor to the campus who made a gift of $100,000 toward construction. The structure was designed by A. St. John Diament, abutting the southside of the Palace. The central portion of the building holds an auditorium large enough to seat 1,200 with classrooms, galleries and exhibition halls. A building intended to house the School of Oriental Studies was erected in 1932. East of Ewart Hall, Oriental Hall has an auditorium and a reception room built and decorated in an adaptation of traditional styles.
However, when AUC found that it has a total of over 4,000 students taking part in the Tahrir campus, the university realized that it is facing a serious space problem that requires a fast relocation. so In September 1997, AUC represented by the president Donald Mcdonald took the first step in solving this problem by purchasing a land in New Cairo, approximately 35 kilometers east of its current campus, as the site for its new campus. This was considered one of the most important steps in the history of the AUC as this increase in the physical space will make it able to be become truly a world-class university; the chairman of AUC’s board of trustees Frank Vandiver said that “This is a great day for AUC”. Then, the university chose Boston Design collaborative/Carol R. Johnson associates to develop the master plan after being selected in a competition between many companies. During the summer of 2008, AUC relocated its undergraduate and graduate programs to New Cairo. AUC New Cairo. The university's continuing education programs remained at AUC Downtown. The AUC New Cairo campus has an area of approximately 280 acres (1.1 km2) compared to the downtown campus of 7.8 acres (32,000 m2). The campus is host to more than 30 undergraduate programs and 15 graduate programs. There are six schools, including the newly inaugurated Graduate School of Education, School of Business and the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and ten research centers. The New Cairo campus accommodates about 5,500 full time students as well as 1,500 faculty and staff. Construction of the new campus was estimated to cost around $400 million ($100 million of which was provided by USAID), making it the largest in Egypt. The inauguration of the new campus took place on the February 7, 2009 and was attended by a number of key persons including Suzanne Mubarak, Egypt's former first lady and AUC alumna, and Margaret Scobey, US Ambassador to Egypt.
In her remarks, Ambassador Scobey said, “The new demands of our new world raise the importance of education. We need our future lead USAID Frontlines, March 2009ers to be diverse and to have a diverse educational experience…Perhaps most importantly, we need leaders who are dedicated to developing a true respect for each other if we are going to effectively work together to harness these forces of change for the greater good.” Ambassador Scobey also delivered a message of congratulations to AUC from United States President Barack Obama.
In its master plan for the new campus, the university mandated that the campus express the university's values as a liberal arts institution in what is essentially a non-western context with deep traditional roots. AUC New Cairo provides advanced facilities for research and learning and facilities such as an athletic center to enrich campus life. The campus is intended to serve as a case study for how architectural harmony and diversity can coexist and how tradition and modernity can appeal to the sense. Campus spaces are also designed to serve as virtual laboratories for the study of desert development, biological sciences and urban development.
Most university administrative offices are housed in the Administration Building. This includes the offices of the President, Provost and senior administration offices. The Abdul Latif Jameel Hall houses the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Kamal Adham Center for Journalism Training and Research. Within the building are executive training rooms, computer labs, video editing and production labs, and labs for graphics, multimedia, radio broadcasting and newspaper production. Abdul Latif Jameel Hall also houses the Heikal Department of Management, the Mohamed Shafik Gabr Economics Department, the Office of graduate Students Services and the Sony Gallery.
The home of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Hall, includes laboratories for psychology and Egyptology, and computer-assisted language labs. The AUC Center for the Arts houses an art gallery; 300-seat theater; labs for electronic music and photography; studios for drawing, painting, sculpture and theater design; and studios for music and film editing and production. The School of Sciences and Engineering features laboratories for all scientific disciplines and specialized fields. There is also an animal facility, greenhouse, herbarium and structural testing facility.
Within the Research Centers Building is the AUC Forum, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies, the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement, and the Yousef Hameel Science and Technology Research Center.
The Dr. Hamza AlKholi Information Center houses AUC’s offices for enrollment, admissions, student financial affairs, and student services. The Howard Theatre is located Haten and Hanet Mostafa Core Academic Center, along with the Mansour Group Lecture Hall and curriculum offices.
There are two theaters within the AUC Center for the Arts, including the Malak Gabr Arts Theater and the Gerhart Theater, as well as the Sharjah Art Gallery and offices for the Department of Performing and Visual Arts.
The university’s Campus Center provides students with a communal area for events, socializing and group study events. Inside the building are a bookstore, gift shop, bank, travel office and the main dining room. There is also a daycare center, a faculty lounge and offices for student offices, the travel office and the AUC Press Campus shop.
Near the Campus Center is the student-housing complex. Across the student residences is the three-story indoor athletic complex, including a 2,000-seat multipurpose court, a jogging track, squash courts, martial arts and exercise studios, a free weight studio and training courts. Outdoor facilities include a 2,000-seat track and field stadium, swimming pool, soccer field, jogging and cycling track, and courts for tennis, basketball, handball and volleyball.
The five-story library includes space for 600,000 volumes in the main library and 100,000 volumes in the Rare Books and Special Collections Library. On the plaza level of the library, the Learning Commons are designed for group and collaborative learning.
The campus also features the Conference and Visitor Center where the 1,400-seat Bassily Auditorium is located, along with the 200-seat Moataz Al Alfi Hall, and smaller lecture halls and meeting rooms.
AUC New Cairo was built using 24,000 tons of reinforcing steel, as well as 115,000 square meters of stone, marble, granite cladding and flooring. Sandstone for the walls of campus buildings is all from a single quarry in Kom Ombo, 50 kilometers north of Aswan. The stone arrived by truck in giant multi-ton blocks, which were cut and shaped for walls, arches and other uses at a stone-cutting plant built on the site. The walls were constructed to reduce campus air conditioning and heating energy use. A 1.6-kilometer service tunnel that runs beneath the central avenue along the spine of AUC’s campus supports the pedestrian-centric community. Services accessible via the tunnel include deliveries and pickups from campus buildings, fiber optic and technology-related wiring, major electrical conduits and plumbing for hot water, domestic water and chilled water for air conditioning.
All of 6,790 trees, shrubs and plants on the campus— with the exception of the date palms — were propagated and grown at AUC’s Desert Development Center. In addition, there are 27 fountains, pools and water features. The Urban Land Institute recognized AUC’s new campus design and construction with a special award recognizing its energy efficiency, its architecture, and its capacity for community development.
Moving the campus to New Cairo has been controversial due to its distance from the city center and isolation. There were protests due to the move, especially since the new campus was not completed when it was opened. One program, the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad (CASA), will return to the downtown campus for starting in the 2010-2011 school year. The Arabic Language Institute's standard intensive Arabic program will however remain on the New Cairo Campus for the time being.
During the 2008-2009 Academic year, AUC's newspaper Caravan printed an Investigative Report on March 1, 2009 reporting that at least two people were killed in the construction of the New Campus. Campus security was called in when hundreds of workers protested that one killed worker's family supposedly had not been compensated. Caravan also reported that because of the high price of food and lack of outside options due to the campus's obscure location, workers were frequently seen forced to resort to students' leftovers. Additionally, a large number of food poisoning cases on the new campus has resulted in one food outlet being temporarily shut down.
During 25th of January Revolution
Tahrir Square campus was used by several snipers to shoot the protesters. AUC confirmed that the security guards were threatened to allow the snipers to get on the roof.
- Rania al Abdullah, HM The Queen of Jordan.
- Juan Cole, American scholar, public intellectual, and historian of the modern Middle East and South Asia
- Nicholas Kristoff, journalist
- Wael Ghonim, Google executive, social activist, social entrepreneur
- Shams Elwazer, Senior Producer, CNN
- Mona Eltahawy, journalist
- Mona El-Shazly,Egyptian talk show host
- Princess Muzna Al-Qu'aiti of Hadhramaut
- Gamal Mubarak, son of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
- Alaa Mubarak, Egyptian businessman and the elder of two sons of former president Hosni Mubarak of Egypt
- Suzanne Mubarak, Egypt's former First Lady
- Aida el Ayoubi, Famous Egyptian singer, songwriter and guitarist.
- Tarek Amer, deputy governor of Egypt's Central Bank
- Khaled Bichara, CEO of Orascom Telecom and founder of LinkDOTNet
- Omar Samra, First Egyptian to climb Mount Everest
- Dan Stoenescu, Romanian diplomat, political scientist and journalist
- Haifa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia's first female filmmaker
- Hisham Abbas, singer
- Yuriko Koike, former Japanese Minister of Defense
- Melanie Craft, Romance Novelist, Larry Ellison's Wife (Oracle Corporation CEO)
- Suzanne Alaywan, poet and artist
- Lawrence Wright, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author
- Salima Ikram, leading Egyptologist and expert on animal mummies
- Kent Weeks, leading Egyptologist, launched the Theban Mapping Project, which discovered the identity and vast dimensions of KV5, the tomb of the sons of Rameses II in the Valley of the Kings
- Emma Bonino, former Commissioner of the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO)
- AUC Press
- Cairo International Model United Nations
- American University of Sharjah (AUS)
- American University of Beirut (AUB)
- American University of Iraq - Sulaimani (AUI)
- American University in Dubai (AUD)
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- American University in Cairo web site
- AUC's New Campus
- Giving to AUC
- News and Events
- AUC Profile
- auc101.com, The unofficial AUC website
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