TUNISIA: World Bank approves progress on reforms

Representatives of the World Bank were in Tunis last month to discuss cooperation with the government in the fields of higher education and research. On the agenda were evaluation and quality systems, closer links with needs of business, development of courses responding to employment needs and reforms to bring university programmes into line with international criteria, reported Tunisia Online.

The delegation led by Steen Jorgensen, head of the Bank's human resources department, approved the efforts made by Tunisia in carrying out reforms, particularly its adoption of the Bologna higher education system, working towards opening universities to their environment, incentives to encourage graduates to start their own businesses, and introduction of courses aligned to the requirements of the job market.

Tunisia Online quoted Jorgensen as saying: "Tunisia's successes in these areas encourage the World Bank to strengthen cooperation further with your country."

Lazhar Bououni, Tunisian Minister for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology, said the Bank's positive opinion would encourage the ministry to continue its actions, particularly with regard to diversification of courses, developing professional masters degrees and organisation of practical training placements for students so as many graduates as possible could find work.