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Higher education in Egypt is in urgent need of reform.
Systemic government repression has stifled the four major areas of university
lifethe 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.