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Egypt’s Education Minister on Fake PhD Allegations: I Enrolled in Online Studies

July 7, 2024
Image Credit: Egypt’s Ministry of Education/Facebook

Egypt’s newly appointed Minister of Education, Mohamed Abdel Latif, addressed accusations of false qualifications and calls for his removal during a live television interview on 5 July 2024.

Abdel Latif, who was appointed to the position on 3 July, used the interview to clarify findings by investigative journalists who reported that his doctorate was obtained from an unaccredited US institution, Cardiff City University, which holds no relation to the famed Welsh university.

“I enrolled in online studies at the university because I was passionate about understanding online education and wanted to share that knowledge with students and the schools I work with,” Abdel Latif explained in his interview with state media outlet eXtra News.

“My aim in earning the degree was not for employment purposes. I registered to understand online education,” he added

Throughout the interview, Abdel Latif emphasized his 25 years of experience in the education sector, underscoring his commitment to leveraging his expertise for the benefit of the ministry.


The controversy began shortly after the government shared Abdel Latif’s curriculum vitae following the cabinet reshuffle on 3 July

Public scrutiny also focused on Abdel Latif’s professional experience, largely confined to his role as CEO of Nermien Ismail School (NIS) – a private and international school founded and chaired by his mother, Nermien Ismail.

The government’s statement went on to highlight that Abdel Latif graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hospitality, though the university was not named, followed by a master’s degree in Education Development from Lawrence University in the United States.

His doctorate in Educational Management and Development from Cardiff City University, obtained in 2014, became the focal point of the controversy.

Investigative journalists and fact-checkers revealed that Cardiff City University, unlike the renowned Welsh institution, is not accredited in the United States and lacks a physical campus.

The university’s website shows that online certifications range from USD 5,000 (EGP 239,686) for a diploma to USD 10,000 (EGP 479,373) for a doctorate.

The cabinet reshuffle, mandated by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in June, was intended to introduce fresh faces and new strategies.

The aim of the removal and recruitment of new ministers is to address ongoing challenges, including power cuts, geopolitics, educational quality, and economic challenges.

The newly formed cabinet recruited twenty new figures, including Abdel Latif.

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