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Educational attainment, Egypt

Codes and Frequencies

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EDUCEG indicates the person's educational attainment in Egypt in terms of the level of schooling completed.

Comparability — General

Basic education has undergone several transformations since the 1952 Free Officers Revolution. In 1952 and prior to 1987, basic education included six years of compulsory primary education. After 1987, primary education was reduced to compulsory five years.

In 1981, a three-year long preparatory stage was made compulsory and combined together with primary education into one basic compulsory education.

In 1999, compulsory basic education was extended to cover nine years (primary tier of 6 years and preparatory tier of 3 years).

The post-1999 pre-university education system follows a 6-3-3 or 6-3-5 format from age 6 to age 18 years. It comprises:

Nine years of compulsory basic education in two tiers, a primary tier of 6 years, and a preparatory tier of 3 year.
Three years of secondary education (general or technical).
Persons in 3-year lower technical secondary schools can obtain further training from 2-year upper technical secondary schools for a total of five years.

The basic education system is preceded by kindergarten, which is a non-mandatory educational stage of two years, from age 4 to age 6 years.

Post-secondary education is obtained from universities, higher and technical institutes. Technical institutes require completion of secondary education and offer 2-years vocational/technical programs. Higher institutes and universities offer programs leading to a bachelor's degree, although the former are related to higher professional education and the latter includes also academic programs. Bachelor degrees and higher professional degrees have usually duration of 4 or more years. After completion of a bachelor's degree, graduates could pursue 1 to 2-years programs leading to a diploma of higher studies or a master's degree. Doctoral degrees are also offered for master's programs graduates, and they last at least 3 years.

In general, censuses identify the highest educational level completed. The 1986 census source variable provides additional detail about field within each level educational category. 1996 and 2006 samples specify only the highest educational level attained.

The Egypt 2006 census identifies secondary education as "intermediate" (including the general, commercial, industrial, and agricultural tracks) and post-secondary technical education as "above intermediate".

Non-formal education in Egypt includes adult literacy programs as articulated in a law passed in 1991. Adult literacy programs are concerned with helping learners catch up with the formal schooling they have missed, rather than addressing learning needs of learners themselves.

Egypt has a parallel education system called Azharite that follows the same path as general secular education.

The universe changed from persons aged 6 years or older in the 1986 census to persons aged 10 years or older in the 1996 and 2006 censuses.


  • Egypt 1986: Persons age 6+
  • Egypt 1996: Persons age 10+
  • Egypt 2006: Persons age 10+


  • Egypt: 1986, 1996, 2006