Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Understanding Graduate Employability in Egypt: ...

Electronic data

View graph of relations

Understanding Graduate Employability in Egypt: Comparing Graduate and Employer Perspectives

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Hebatallah Elmatbouli
Publication date2023
Number of pages219
Awarding Institution
Award date29/08/2023
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Employability has been viewed as a crucial issue in both industrialised and industrialising countries. However, it has not received much attention in the global South, especially the Arab World and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including Egypt which faces a precarious market labour and a Higher Education system with numerous challenges. Egypt’s demographics aggravate the situation straining sectors such as housing, health, education, and employment. While the HE system is constantly and rapidly expanding adding new HE players to the landscape, the labour market does not seem to keep up with the huge number of graduates.
In Egypt, while the majority of literature has focused on HE access, challenges, and reform, little literature has examined the perceptions of students of HE in relation to the labour market and none has looked at how both graduates and employers understand employability and how they develop it.
Drawing on Bourdieu’s conceptual toolkit, forms of capital, habitus, and field, this study examines how graduates of different university types and employers in companies of different types understand employability. Forty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted to generate data in both Arabic and English which were then coded and analysed using themes drawn from Bourdieu’s notions. Data from both interviews sets were then compared to identify the matches and mismatches between the perspectives of both groups. A comparison was also drawn between the employability strategies graduates used and those valued by employers. It concludes that mismatches between two groups of stakeholders indicate the disconnect between the two key stakeholders and suggests that the Egyptian labour faces major barriers that hinder it from functioning effectively.