Ten students in Cairo for a UC Davis Summer Abroad program, their instructor and her son will be evacuated from Egypt amid concerns that protests and violence could escalate in a showdown between the country's president and its military.
The group includes eight UC Davis students and one student each from UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. The group — led by instructor Noha Radwan of UC Davis' Department of Comparative Literature, a Cairo native — arrived in Cairo on June 18 for a course on the works of Egyptian authors and filmmakers. They were scheduled to leave on July 16.
Zachary Frieders, associate director of the Education Abroad Center at UC Davis, said each of the group members is safe, and his office is working to facilitate their evacuation by Thursday morning Cairo time. Initially, they will be flown to Paris. He said the group's emergency contacts are being kept informed as the situation unfolds.
Frieders said UC Davis and systemwide officials are exercising caution in the light of increasing instability and concerns about how further developments may disrupt transportation and infrastructure. "Our primary concern is the safety of students and ensuring safe passage out of the country," he said.
Frieders said the decision to close the program and evacuate the students was a based on a thorough analysis, consultation with risk and safety leadership on campus and at the UC Office of the President, and advisories from the U.S. State Department and others.
This is the second year the UC Davis program has been offered in Cairo. In spring 2011, the University of California Education Abroad Program brought students back early from one of its programs in Cairo.
Annually, more than 1,000 UC Davis students participate in study abroad programs in about 40 countries.
UC Davis has an advisory committee that evaluates the safety of proposed study abroad programs and an ad hoc committee to provide assistance when problems emerge.