Universities and schools
Journalism and Mass Communication academic programs began in the 1930s at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Five years later, Cairo University (CU) established an institution that was responsible for editing, translations, and journalism. CU’s Faculty of Mass Communication and the AUC’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication are considered among the most important communication institutions in the Arab World. Al Azhar University’s Department of Communication was converted into a School of Mass Communication with three departments: Journalism, Radio and Television, and Advertising and Public Relations.
The curriculum of the journalism and mass communication department at AUC is quite distinctive from other programs in Egypt and considered one of the few in the region that is based on liberal arts. Its English-language program integrates theory with practical training in three majors: Multimedia Journalism, Communication and Media Arts, and Integrated Marketing Communication. Its program emphasizes critical thinking, ethics, lifelong learning, effective citizenship and professional skills. National, regional, and transnational media organisations heavily recruit its graduates. Other schools, especially the ones in the rural areas, are stemmed from CU’s Faculty of Mass Communication curriculum, and it is more of a theoretical type of curriculum. AUC and CU are also the only universities that have student-produced weekly newspapers.
It is estimated that at least 15 of the public and private universities in Egypt offer journalism related courses, with specialised departments in: broadcasting (radio and television), public relations and advertising. Ain Shams University (ASU), like CU, is another public university offering communications specialisations.
The Journalism and mass Communication department at AUC also offers master’s programs in Journalism and Mass Communication and Television and Digital Journalism. Other leading private universities offering journalism programs include the Modern Science and Arts University (MSA), Ahram Canadian University (ACU), and the Modern University for Technology and Information (MTI), all of which offer three journalism majors similar to the universities listed above.
Some programs face difficulties with obtaining the accreditation form the Supreme Council for National Universities (SCNU), which evaluates programs based on curricula and CU’s model. Egypt recently launched an initiative to provide national accreditation of academic programs using a model that aligns more closely with international accrediting agencies. Egypt’s National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education (NAQAEE), an independent authority reporting to Egypt’s prime minister, is responsible for evaluating more than 50,000 institutes of higher education (including pre-university and technical education).