Prof. Ahmed Al-Minshawi, President of Assuit University, received on Saturday morning, a shield award for the winning universities in the second round of the best Eco-friendly University competition in 2023 from Dr. Yasmin Fouad, Minister of the Environment, during the meeting of the Supreme Council of Universities headed by Prof. Ayman Ashour, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and in the presence of Dr. Reda Hegazy, Minister of Education and Technical Education and a number of university presidents.
It is worth mentioning that Assuit University ranked third as the best eco-friendly university in 2023. The winning universities were selected based on field visits to ensure that environmental conservation and sustainability standards were applied and linked to educational systems, scientific research and university infrastructure as well as standards of energy, climate change, waste and water management style and transportation within the university. These visits were also to ensure that the university meets the standard of environmental quality and that its sustainability plan aligns with environmental laws, international agreements and management of crises and environmental disasters.
The Minister of the Environment stressed that the education and scientific research file is one of the most important files in achieving environmental conservation and sustainability. The Ministry of the Environment works with various sectors, whether those that are directly related to the consumption of resources such as energy, transportation, water resources, and agriculture or indirect sectors such as youth, education and culture which require different tools that help to consolidate environmental and sustainability concepts in the conscience of the citizen.
The Minister of the Environment pointed out the importance of linking the files of the environment, education and scientific research to meet the requirements of the market at both the national and international levels in terms of providing human resources capable of overcoming environmental problems and their relation to economic and social problems especially with the interrelatedness of challenges and issues. We, therefore, started work with school students in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to incorporate the concepts of the environment, climate and biodiversity into the curricula, from primary to secondary stages. We also worked in parallel with universities in different parts of the Republic in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
The Minister valued and praised the voluntary initiatives undertaken at the university level to incorporate the environmental dimension, emphasizing that the incorporation of this dimension into the universities has to be done on two axes. The first axis is the inclusion of environment concepts in educational curricula and the intersection between the environmental file and other productive files with economic and social benefits. The second one is to ensure that these concepts are reflected through the buildings and places that include this educational process by implementing these concepts within the infrastructure and daily practices such as rationalizing energy and water consumption, recycling of waste and separation from the source.
The Minister of the Environment pointed out that the second round of the competition is characterized by a shift from the theoretical to the realistic phase through the implementation of field visits to the nominated universities to ensure that environmental practices and the required standards have been implemented. These visits will be made by an integrated team of various specializations. She indicated that the competition is a journey which we undertake together and through which we benefit from the acquired experiences and expand them and repeat and build on the successful experiences to reach the largest number of green sustainable universities in Egypt that take into account environmental, economic and social standards.