ALGERIA: Students determined to study in Algiers

New students from areas of Algeria's interior have been enrolling for German and other subjects they have never learnt at school because they want to attend university in Algiers, according to La Tribune .

Once registered at university in the capital the freshers aimed to switch courses to subjects they really wanted to study - but they were disappointed, said the paper.

La Tribune blamed the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for making students resort to "the only course of action open to them to try to achieve their aim".

New ministry regulations banned students who lived in one wilaya (province) from enrolling at a university in another, unless the course they wanted was not available in their home area, said the paper.

It reported that 104 youngsters had chosen to enrol for German studies to give them access to a place in Algiers, "to the detriment of what they really want [to study]". It was a "clever trick" - but one that at least for some had proved to be a mistake, said the paper.

Dr Henni Abdelkader, Rector of the University of Bouzaréah in Algiers, told the paper some students who had enrolled for German came to see him to transfer to other courses, mainly French and English. But they could not change.

"These courses are available in universities where they live. I told them I could not satisfy their demands," said Abdelkader.

The students decided to keep their places at Bouzaréah, and had to attend the German course. As they had never learnt any German, this presented difficulties, said La Tribune.

Abdelkader said he had offered them initiation courses, which the university provided for beginners studying Russian and Italian.

But, said La Tribune, the German students were only one example among many. "New students have enrolled in different courses solely to be in the great city of Algiers, the capital," it said.