It all started with a dream back in 1994. Prof. Dr. Ashraf Mansour, DAAD and Alexander von Humboldt scholar, who completed his PhD at Ulm University, had the idea of establishing a university in Cairo based on the outstanding education and culture he experienced while studying in Germany. His aim was to make a sustainable contribution to the field of education in both his home country Egypt and his host country Germany. The German University in Cairo (GUC) was established to fulfill the mission of “building a leading center of excellence in teaching and research that will effectively contribute to the general welfare nationally and internationally and endeavor the scientific, technical, economic and cultural cooperation between Egypt and Germany” to support the modernization and democratization process in Egypt.
After years of thorough preparation through market research studies regarding the specializations and qualifications needed in Egypt and feasibility studies as well as the development of a business/financial plan and curricula with the help of international experts, the University of Ulm became the first official partner university of the GUC. Prof. Dr. Wolff, former president of Ulm University, was among the first most enthusiastic supporters of the GUC. Today he still supports the University as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Thanks to the trust and support of its former president, Prof.Dr. Dieter Fritsch, the University of Stuttgart became the GUC’s second major partner university. Ever since, Prof. Fritsch has been a source of great support to GUC and still plays an active role in its development as member of the Board of Trustees. In 2000, Prof. Mansour was also able to allocate the financial resources required for the project from a group of Egyptian founders convinced of the success of the project. The State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Germany Embassy in Cairo did not miss the chance to be part of what was to become the “flagship project” for the export of German education, and officially declared their support.
The ministerial pre-approval for the establishment of GUC was followed by the laying of the foundation stone of the University.
In February 2002, the GUC was legally established by the presidential decree no. 27/2007. This important milestone paved the way for the first German Board of Trustees meeting to appoint the GUC president and German Vice-President, the first complete Board of Trustees Meeting and the issuance of the construction permits.
In only nine months the construction of around 30,000 m² built area (on a total area of 577,000 square meters) was completed. It allocated around 200 staff members who received the first 950 students enrolled in the first academic year 2003/2004. In October, the GUC was officially inaugurated by former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.
The new faculty of Applied Sciences & Arts was inaugurated offering three new study programs in the field of design. In June, German Federal Minister of Education Mrs. Schavan laid the foundation stone for GUC’s unique “Industry Park” encompassing an area of 40,000 square meters.
To facilitate and increase student exchange programs for GUC students, a full service GUC Student Hostel in Ulm started operations in 2007 and can now accommodate a total of 70 students.
The GUC Industry Park was inaugurated displaying the newest technologies and machinery of GUC’s partners from the German industry such as Trumpf, FESTO, DMG, Walter, Zeiss and Felder.
GUC ‘s Berlin office was established. It aims at increasing GUC’s academic and student exchange activities, in addition to maintaining and expanding the University’s relationships with its stakeholders in Germany. The Berlin office is GUC’s fourth representative office in Germany after Ulm, Stuttgart and Tübingen.
The German University in Cairo celebrates its 10th anniversary with a number of events in both Egypt and Germany.