Four Egyptian university presidents with ties to the overthrown Mubarak regime resigned yesterday, clearing the way for campus elections to choose their successors.
Students, faculty and staff have been engaging in ongoing protests against Mubarak-era holdovers in university administration, protests that have intensified after the new government reneged on promised to oust all top university leaders this summer. These new resignations come just weeks before the scheduled start of the new Egyptian academic year.
Only faculty members are eligible to vote in these elections for university administrators, but students are asserting newfound power in the university system as well. Student activists have been at the center of recent campus demonstrations, and a weeklong sit-in at American University in Cairo ended on Monday in victory for student activists. Meanwhile, Egypt’s national union of students held its first leadership elections since the 1970s last month.