This paper examines patterns of school choice in Egypt from primary through higher education. We use a mixed-methods approach that combines survey data with qualitative in-depth interviews to explore schooling decisions. Some private and religious schools exist, but we find that in most geographic areas school “choice” at the pre-university level is effectively limited to public schools—despite their inadequate quality. Although there has not been much change in the attendance of private schools at the pre-university level, we find that attendance of private higher education institutions has increased over time. Azhari (Islamic religious) school attendance at the pre-university level has increased over time as well, possibly indicating a reaction to the low quality of public schools. Overall, when choices are available, families still tend to prefer public schools due to their low cost, though private and religious schools are generally perceived to be of higher quality.
education school choice private schooling religious education inequality of opportunity Egypt