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### Mansour’s Presentation at the AERA Conference

Koboul Mansour, the [Director of the Institute], delivered a presentation at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. The session titled “Higher Education and Institutional Comparisons Across Countries” featured her research on “World-Class Universities and the Imitation Game: The Reality of the Global South.”

During her presentation, Mansour highlighted the challenges posed by a progressively globalized higher education landscape, where universities face mounting pressure to showcase their academic excellence through research output. This emphasis on research is seen as essential for competing in the global knowledge economy and attaining the prestigious status of a “world-class university” (WCU).

She pointed out that over the last decade, internationalization has been a pivotal aspect of higher education reform strategies in Egypt. Mansour noted that policymakers in Egypt have been advocating for reform initiatives that heavily draw from Western models in a bid to enhance the competitiveness of the Egyptian higher education system within the international education market.

Mansour’s study delved into how “higher education policies in Egypt (as a representative of a Global South nation) echo globalized discourses like the concept of WCUs” and scrutinized how education-related policies and strategic plans address issues relevant to local contexts and national priorities.

Her critical examination of Egypt’s education policies and strategic plans, both at the national higher education system level and the institutional level, revealed a significant alignment with both local priorities and global imperatives. Despite the acknowledgment of local and global needs in these policy documents, Mansour identified the primary focus of the Egyptian government as enhancing the educational competitiveness of the country’s higher education system. Furthermore, her presentation proposed contextually sensitive incremental and transformative recommendations for fostering change.