Cairo: The Virtual Career Platform for the University Centers of Career Development Project (UCCD) 2021 was launched yesterday, in cooperation with The American University in Cairo (AUC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The opening ceremony of the UCCD 2021 Virtual Career Platform was attended by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research for University Affairs, Ayman Ashour; U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan R. Cohen; USAID Mission Director Leslie Reed; AUC President Francis Ricciardone; AUC Counselor Ashraf Hatem and presidents of Egyptian public universities.
The UCCD centers in Egyptian public universities were established in cooperation with USAID in ten universities: Alexandria, Ain Shams, Aswan, Beni-Suef, Al Mansoura, Menoufia, Minia, Sadat, Sohag, and Zagazig universities.
The UCCD 2021 Virtual Career Platform is the first collective venue connecting students and graduates of ten Egyptian public universities with organizations offering employment opportunities throughout the year. Held under the auspices of the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, the Platform will host a series of recruiting events, which started yesterday with the launch of the Virtual March Career Expo 2021. The Career Expo offered more than 3500 job and internship opportunities from more than 55 employers to around 4000 students and graduates of Egyptian Universities.
During his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research for University Affairs, Ayman Ashour, said that “the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education’s role is not limited to students’ education only. Our role is also to nurture a new generation fueled with knowledge, science, and creativity through developing the students’ personal and technical skills to keep up with the changing needs of the labor market, which is witnessing new norms, especially after the pandemic. We are proud to continue providing these services for our students while facilitating their job search processes.”
At the launch event, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Jonathan Cohen, said that the centers of opportunity might be a better name for the UCCDs as these centers bring employers, scholarships, knowledge and jobs straight to the students. “By opening minds and opening new worlds, we are seeing a major shift in how young people think about their future.” He said that the virtual career fair “shows how the United States is working hand in hand with the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and other partners to empower and support Egypt’s youth through the university centers for career development.” He added that to date, the project has successfully launched 16 career centers within ten Egyptian public universities and provided career services to over 150,000 students.
During the event, Ambassador Cohen announced an extension for the UCCD project, where the United States will be providing support to expand the project to 30 centers at 22 public universities in Egypt, serving 70 percent of all public university students.
In his remarks, AUC President Francis Ricciardone expressed how proud he is of this project, which allowed him to visit and work with presidents of partner Egyptian universities across Egypt during his term as president. He also said: “The UCCD 2021 Virtual Career Platform allows us to reach thousands of Egyptian graduates and students. It helps them identify the most important job opportunities available and communicate with companies’ representatives, especially in light of the current circumstances that have created innovation opportunities.” He added that AUC is proud to collaborate with partner Egyptian universities and USAID to support the University Centers for Professional Development project, through which students in Egyptian universities are empowered and given the ability to prepare for the labor market.
AUC Counselor Ashraf Hatem highlighted in his remarks the success of the UCCDs in turning an unprecedented challenge into a great opportunity during the pandemic by training students and helping them connect with employers all year long. He indicated that “the impact of UCCDs on our students in public universities is enormous. Thanks to all partner universities, USAID, AUC, and participating companies, for availing such a platform and offering opportunities to Egyptian youth.”
The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and Vodafone Intelligent Solutions (_VOIS) participated for the second year as the official partners for the virtual platform.
“NBE is proud to be the official partner of the UCCD Virtual Career Platform 2021 in light of the success of the first virtual career fair last year. NBE supports further sustainable development and social responsibility in Egypt. By supporting the second UCCD Career Expo for public universities, we are strengthening the experience of using technology to support thousands of university graduates and students to get job and internship opportunities,” said NBE Chairman Hisham Okasha. He added that NBE looks forward to employing new outstanding members of NBE in different governorates.
President of Vodafone Intelligent Solutions (_VOIS) Ramy Katto said: “We are proud to be the official partner of the UCCD Virtual Career Platform 2021 for Egyptian universities because it represents our beliefs. We believe in the importance of keeping up with technological progress to support digital transformation through services, solutions, and applications that serve large sectors of Egyptian youth including university graduates and students.” Katto also said: “We are confident of discovering outstanding young talents at the UCCD Expo to join Vodafone Intelligent Solutions (_VOIS) team.”
Students and graduates also attended yesterday virtual seminars on the most important developments in the labor market presented by the National Bank of Egypt, Vodafone for Smart Solutions, Hassan Allam Real Estate Development Company, Etisalat Misr, Edita Food Industries, and Al-Qanat Sugar Company.
Founded in 1919, The American University in Cairo (AUC) is a leading English-language, American-accredited institution of higher education and center of the intellectual, social, and cultural life of the Arab world. It is a vital bridge between East and West, linking Egypt and the region to the world through scholarly research, partnerships with academic and research institutions and study abroad programs.
The University offers 40 undergraduate, 52 master’s and two PhD programs rooted in a liberal arts education that encourages students to think critically and find creative solutions to conflicts and challenges facing both the region and the world.
An independent, nonprofit, politically non-partisan, non-sectarian and equal opportunity institution, AUC is fully accredited in Egypt and the United States.