Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

U-M will evacuate students from program in Cairo, Egypt

A group of U-M students studying in Egypt this summer will be heading home Thursday after university officials decided Wednesday to evacuate them from Cairo.

Kim Coyne, senior adviser for international health, safety and security in the Office of the Provost, says the students will be escorted from the American University in Cairo residence hall, where they have been staying, to the Cairo airport and flown to a location outside Egypt. From there the students will be flown home.

"We have been in close contact with the students and with officials at the American University and are confident the students can be escorted to the airport safely," Coyne says.

The seven undergraduates and one graduate student were about halfway through a two-month cultural program offered through the Center for Global and Intercultural Study, affiliated with LSA.

"The safety of our students is always important," says James Holloway, vice provost for global and engaged education. "No one wants her summer-abroad experience cut short, but the uncertainty of the situation in Cairo in the days ahead made this decision very clear for us."

Classes for the group were canceled earlier this week and the students have been staying in a residence hall that is separated from protests in the Egyptian capital city.

In addition to the students at the American University of Cairo, there also are five U-M students participating in other educational programs in Egypt. These students are moving with those programs to other locations.

Two students studying in Alexandria with the Arabic Flagship Program are scheduled to leave Friday for Meknes, Morocco, where the program has been moved for the remainder of the academic year. The program is run by the American Councils for International Education.

Three U-M students participating in Arabic language study with students from other universities have moved with the program from Cairo to Amman, Jordan. That program is operated by American-Mideast Educational and Training Services, a leading nonprofit educational organization.

Additionally, there is one U-M doctoral student conducting field research in Egypt who is not in Cairo and one faculty member traveling in Egypt. U-M officials were in the process of contacting them Wednesday afternoon.

The university requires all U-M faculty, staff and students to register their university-affiliated international travel plans. This provides a way for the university to reach all travelers in the case of an emergency.