“El Gouna is a unique pilot project, not previously attempted by any other university and the potential it represents for Technische Univeristät Berlin is far from exhausted,” says 36-year-old Isamic scholar and historian Christina Stahlbock. She has been managing director of the TU campus in El Gouna, Egypt since August 2019. Stahlbock spent almost seven years living in Egypt, speaks Arabic and is well versed in the culture and politics of the MENA region. She has also developed an excellent network within the educational-political infrastructure of both Egypt and Germany. She developed her expertise and knowledge working for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) at its overseas office in Cairo, in Berlin and most recently as head of the information center in East Jerusalem.
“Campus El Gouna fascinated me right from the start,” she says. “TU Berlin has created an educational hub with an outstanding teaching and research environment for students from more than 40 countries. That is what I call internationalization.” German education enjoys a high reputation in Egypt and the entire region. There is a great demand for the technical education provided by TU Berlin. Due to the high number of students and poor infrastructure, state universities in the region are often only able to offer a very theoretical education.
Christina Stahlbock has set herself the task of developing the numerous activities pursued on the campus and cementing its position within the regional network. “TU Berlin can actively contribute to capacity development in teaching, entrepreneurship or research methodology. One option for doing so are its strategic partnerships with local universities such as Ain Shams University in Cairo. Egypt is focusing on the internationalization of its universities.
Christina Stahlbock wishes to use a new marketing strategy to raise the campus´s profile both in Germany and internationally: “There is a lot of scope in El Gouna, both for new students and new projects.” For example, funding for the research group led by Professor Dr.-Ing. Tetyana Morozyuk has been renewed by the DAAD and BMBF until 2023. The city of El Gouna is located on the Red Sea and has plenty of cultural highlights to offer. The founder of the El Gouna campus, Egyptian entrepreneur and TU alumnus Samih Sawiris, recently commissioned the building of a concert hall modeled on the illustrious Berlin Philharmonie.