Universities become ideological battlegrounds

Several high-profile violent incidents at Tunisian universities have highlighted concerns about security at higher education institutions, writes Roua Khlifi for Tunisialive.

Clashes broke out on 4 March between representatives of leftist and Islamist student unions at the Institute of Humanities of Ibn Charaf, leading to a two-day suspension of classes as well as damaged classrooms and injured students. A couple of days later, the Preparatory School for Literary Studies of Tunis witnessed violent fighting between the same two student unions.

“This is not acceptable in the post-revolution period,” said Dalanda Larguech, historian and director of Tunisia’s Centre for Research, Study and Documentation of Information on Women. Violence is not a new phenomenon on Tunisian campuses; bloody conflicts took place throughout the 1980s. Yet clashes seem to have escalated recently as ideological conflicts between the leftist student union UGET and its Islamist rival UGTE have intensified. Last year, Salafists took over the campus of Manouba University.
Full report on the Tunisialive site