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IX. Conclusion

Higher education in Egypt is in urgent need of reform. Systemic government repression has stifled the four major areas of university life—the classroom, research, student activities, and campus protests. Private actors, primarily Islamist militants, have produced an atmosphere of intimidation that authorities have abetted in some cases and tolerated in others to the further detriment of academic freedom. Self-censorship and institutional problems also contribute to a climate where professors and students are too fearful or apathetic to challenge the status quo. Together these factors violate Egyptian academics’ rights to freedom of opinion, expression, association, and assembly as well as university autonomy. To regain its intellectual leadership in the Arab world, Egypt must free its universities from these restrictions and create an environment where academic freedom is allowed to flourish.

<<previous  |  index  |  next>>June 2005