By Mennatallah Fouad Youssef
CAIRO: In a bid to offer solutions to Egypt’s challenges, a new German university in El-Gouna will open its doors this year with three specialized Master’s programs that encourage students to take science to their communities.
The Technical University of Berlin (TUB) Campus El Gouna will open its gates to graduate students aiming to excel in the fields of science and engineering starting Oct. 1. The three Master’s programs offered aim to tackle current challenges in Egypt’s water sector and infrastructure.
“El Gouna is not just a tourist town anymore; it has become a full-functioning town with an attractive urban environment and various educational facilities such as a branch of Bibliotheca Alexandria, a branch of the American University in Cairo and a high school,” said Dr Rudolf Schafer, founding director of Campus El Gouna.
With the expanding problem of shantytowns in mind, the urban development program will focus on the building sustainable living districts, producing low-carbon cities, planning networks for water supplies, water disposal, waste management, and transport planning.
“Since our students are already graduates and have been working in those fields for at least a few years, they know the daily life and culture of the areas they live in. We thus hope that they will be working in real life projects as teams and as early as possible with clients to re-develop existing residential areas, and develop slums,” said Peter Berten, professor of water engineering.
“We hope that the people living in these areas will be integrated to give us options and their demands. We have legal regulations now that help us to reach our goals, and our students will learn how to start projects, how to approach clients. And these projects are also anticipated to create future jobs as well,” he added.
TUB will also address energy demand and global warming in the context of economic burden in poor countries. The energy engineering Master’s program focuses on creating economical and renewable energy.
The university is also partnering with Siemens in order to work on energy related projects in Egypt.
According to the water engineering professor, Sven-Uwe Geiben, the water engineering program offered at TUB will tackle the challenges of increased water demans, in areas where safe water supplies is scarce or difficult to obtain. The program will expose its students to various technologies that will recycle wastewater in order to reduce 45 percent of water usage.
Ranked as number 137 worldwide and 62 among technical and engineering universities, TUB academic programs focus on information and communications, transportation and mobility, water management, energy, nutrition and health, habitat design and knowledge management.
Accredited by the German Higher Education Legislation and funded by Orascom Hotels and Development, the university is a public non-profit German university that aspires to provide the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with scientific and development solutions for key challenges.
“Our aim is to make the Campus El Gouna a headquarter of TU Berlin in the MENA region,” added Schafer.
The campus is built on an area of 32,746.92 square meters; it offers accommodation for its students along with research labs, lecture halls, exhibition forum and workshop areas.
Each program aims to develop its students in the field through practical work and through cross cultural experiences by studying for a semester or more in Berlin. The university will accept students who have Bachelor’s degrees in engineering or natural sciences and have at least a one-year working experience in the respective fields.