ALGERIA: University signs digital campus agreement

The Algerian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has signed an agreement with the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) for the creation of a French-language digital campus at the University of Oran.

At the signing ceremony Bernard Cerquiglini, Rector of the AUF, said the project would link Oran to the network of francophone universities, develop information and communication technologies for higher education and research, and create educational programmes in systems administration, digital structuring and science.

Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, the AUF promotes higher education and research in French-speaking universities. The French government pays most of the agency's annual budget of more than EUR40 million (US$50 million), with contributions from Canada-Quebec and the francophone communities of Belgium, Switzerland and Cameroon. It has 63 branches operating under nine regional offices worldwide, linking 693 institutions in 81 countries.

In recent years it has been promoting ICTs including open and distance learning, digital campuses and technologically equipped information centres available free to students (see "Distance education projects 'adopted'", University World News, 6 July 2008).

Oran's will be the second digital campus in Algeria, after Algiers' established in 2006, and more are planned. The AUF said the digital campus at Constantine, which will cover the East region of the country, will be operating before the end of 2009.