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Learning to be self-directed involves taking responsibility for the objectives of learning. This paper will consider the challenges involved in the promotion of independent autonomous learning and the taking of an active role in learning within the confines of a British institutional higher education setting in Egypt. The paper raises the discussion that if autonomous learning is to be encouraged at Egyptian universities, faculty staff need to develop new conceptions of teaching and learning; be willing to test various methods and techniques of instruction; and acquire new skills as they shift from the role of knowledge provider to the role of being a facilitator or resource person. On the other hand, it argues that Egyptian students need to develop new learning strategies as they make the transition from being passive learners to becoming autonomous learners. It will also raise issues concerning the provision of support for such learning and discuss implications for future work in this field.