Algeria

Towards adapting higher education system (Bachelor-Master-PhD) with current developments

Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research intends to adapt the higher education system (Bachelor-Master-PhD) with the current developments to make it suitable to specializations required in the labor market, according to the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Abdelbaki Benziane.

The minister pointed out that the results of the evaluation of the experience of applying the system (Bachelor-Master-PhD) showed the necessity to adapt this system to make it suitable to the developments imposed by the labor market, especially with regard to the importance of developing new specializations in various fields of knowledge.

Benziane also highlighted that it is illogical to maintain the old version of this system whose implementation began in 2004, thus, pushing the Ministry to work towards improving this system which will enable the university to become a real lever for the national economy.

This endeavor comes – the minister went on to say – as part of the series of measures contained in the draft law on higher education, which will soon be presented to the government, stressing that, if ratified, this text will make a quantum leap in the management of the Algerian university.

With the aim of giving a concrete form to the university’s openness to its economic and social environment, the minister stated that the sector continues to conclude cooperation agreements with various institutions and ministerial departments to build cooperation bridges and value the outputs of scientific research, as well as provide quality trainings for students, which allow increasing the employment rate of university graduates.

In the same respect, Mr. Benziane explained that thanks to these agreements, work is being done to update the university trainings map to keep up with developments in the field of employment, as this cooperation resulted in the inclusion of new disciplines or the freezing of others, stressing the need to strengthen the teaching of applied mathematics as it is required in the field of employment, since the university trains 10 percent of this specialty in mathematics.

With the aim of training university students in the field of entrepreneurship, the sector was able to establish 78 contracting houses across higher education institutions that are responsible for sensitizing students, training them, motivating them and ensuring their support for the creation of startups and micro enterprises, in addition to the creation of 44 incubators at the level of universities and higher schools, which will be administratively supported by managers of Universities and scientifically by the National Agency for the promotion of scientific research and technological development results.

Regarding the digitization of the sector, the minister underlined that his services are endeavoring to increase the flow of the Internet manifolds compared to the current flow in all universities, this will be done – according to him – after the acquisition of new equipment for the Research Center in Scientific and Technical Media, which will ensure the distribution of the Internet to all Universities.

In the same connection, Mr. Benziane stressed the need for the success of distance learning, especially after the experience of the Algerian University in light of the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, revealing the registration of 800 lessons related to exploratory and incidental units for the benefit of first-year university students in the form of videos that the student may obtain via the Internet or at the level of the university in the event that communication through this network is not possible.  The minister adds that – the attendance pattern was maintained for studying the basic units in accordance with the group system, which allows the improvement of the schooling conditions.

With regard to the information system “Progress”, Mr. Benziane affirmed the sector’s determination to address what he described as some of the deficiencies recorded in this system, alluding to the orientation, in some cases, of new students with specific needs to specializations that do not correspond to the nature of their disability, which required – according to him – the treatment of these cases individually to provide everyone with their rights, adding, “All information systems in the world suffer from shortcomings because of their exclusive treatment with numbers only.”

As for the management of university services, the minister stated that, as instructed by the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, work is currently underway to prepare a “comprehensive reform vision” with the contribution of all members of the university staff and representatives of the social partner, aiming to prepare a new strategy for the management of these services, highlighting the possibility of benefiting from international experiences in this field, which has witnessed some “shortcomings” in its management.

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