UPEI Cairo Campus

UPEI Cairo Campus Holds First-Ever Convocation Ceremony

The University of Prince Edward Island held its first-ever Convocation ceremony on August 14 at its campus in New Cairo, Egypt.

Forty-five students in the faculties of Business, Engineering, and Science received their degrees from Dr. Greg Keefe, interim president and vice-chancellor of UPEI, who presided over the ceremony on behalf of the Honourable Catherine Callbeck, chancellor of UPEI.

In his address to the Class of 2022, Keefe remarked on this historic milestone for the University.

“It is a very special honour for me to preside at this, the first convocation at the UPEI Cairo Campus, as well as the first convocation among the Universities of Canada in Egypt campuses,” said Keefe. “UPEI is renowned for the excellence and global reach of the education we offer to our students. We are proud to extend our tradition of excellence to students at the UPEI Cairo Campus.”

He congratulated graduates for their resilience during the pandemic, adding, “Graduates, throughout your academic journey, you have shown your dedication to excellence…You are well equipped to reach your full potential; solve pressing problems; contribute to a more just, more equitable society; and make a profound impact in your community, whether it be here in Egypt or around the world.”

Dr. Kim Critchley, provost of the UPEI Cairo Campus, served as master of ceremonies for this special event.

“To the first-ever graduates of the UPEI Cairo Campus, congratulations! Faculty, staff, and I are so proud of you. You deserve to be recognized on this graduation day as you have worked hard to earn your degree. Well done! Thank you to the Universities of Canada for so graciously hosting UPEI. This Convocation is a tremendous example of international partnership success.”

Special guests included the Honourable Natalie Jameson, Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, Province of Prince Edward Island and Dr. Magdy ElKady, president and chair of the board for Universities of Canada in Egypt.

Other special guests included several members of the cabinet for the Arab Republic of Egypt: His Excellency Mohamed Ayman Ashour, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research; His

Excellency Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Health and Population and former Minister of Higher Education; His Excellency Kamel Al-Wazir, Minister of Transport; and His Excellency Ashraf Sobhy, Minister of Youth and Sports.

Jameson represented the Honourable Dennis King, Premier of Prince Edward Island, at the inaugural event and gave the keynote speech. “It is a pleasure to be invited to speak to the first graduating class of the University of Prince Edward Island Cairo Campus,” she said. “Canadian education is revered throughout the world—with the high standards of academics and the values it represents. Over the past four years, these new graduates learned the value of hard work and determination. They are graduating as global citizens, and I wish them all the best as they move into the next chapter of their lives.”

Attending from UPEI were Dr. Greg Naterer, vice-president academic and research; Dr. Wayne Peters, dean, Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering and UPEI Alumni Association representative; and Dr. Tarek Mady, dean, Faculty of Business. Participants from the UPEI Cairo Campus included Dr. Hadia Hamdy, associate dean, Faculty of Business; Dr. Rasha El Shafei, associate dean, Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering; and Dr. Ahmed Elsheikh, associate dean, Faculty of Sciences. Dr. Nesma Ammar, assistant professor, Faculty of Business, served as the Marshal.

Valedictorian Yahya Omar, who graduated from the Faculty of Business (Entrepreneurship), delivered an inspiring address to his fellow graduates, commenting on what they saw as they came through the UCE gates on their first day when there was barely one building standing.

“We found something that no one thought we’d find in the middle of nowhere: our future. What a lot of people don’t know is that most of the graduating class, if not then all of us, did not come here for the same reason…For some, it was the internationally recognized Canadian degree. For others, it was their gateway to traveling abroad. But no matter what brought us here, there is something that we all share. That is, as the first year passed, we all had the opportunity to leave, but we all chose to stay. We stayed because we found something in this University…we became more than colleagues, more than students, even more than friends, we became a family.”

Salma Kassem, also a Bachelor of Business Administration graduate, was presented with the award for highest academic standing among the graduating class.

Following the awarding of their degrees, the graduates received a UPEI pin and card from the UPEI Alumni Association as the newest members of the Panthers-for-Life family.

In September 2018, the UPEI Cairo Campus began offering the following degrees: Bachelor of Science in sustainable design engineering (mechatronics and sustainable energy); Bachelor of Science in mathematical and computational sciences (video game development, data analytics, and business analytics); and Bachelor of Business Administration (accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, and organizational management). Students in these degree programs learn the same curricula as do those at UPEI’s home campus on Prince Edward Island, and at the end of their four-year programs, they graduate with UPEI degrees.