Plans in place to expand student numbers – Minister

Algerian universities are ready to cater for an extra 62,000 students, with nearly 6,000 new lecturers to be recruited and increased provision of student accommodation and services, according to Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Mohamed Mebarki.

During a visit to the wilaya (administrative district) of Médéa, Mebarki said that concerning the number of student places and housing there was “no problem” for the approaching university year and the provision met all the demands made at national level, reported La Tribune of Tangiers.

Student accommodation had been increased by 50,000 beds, bringing the total to 650,000 beds, and six large-scale university restaurants had been built.

Mebarki said that where problems had been reported “these rare cases of shortages have been taken care of through inter-sector solidarity”.

The increased provision meant that universities now had capacity for more than 1,250,000 students. Where three or four institutions were facing “light pressure”, Mebarki indicated that students might be transferred to other universities.

He added that nearly 6,000 new university teachers would be recruited, reported La Tribune, which recalled that nearly 48,000 would be needed to cater for a projected two million students.

According to an assessment carried out by the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie in 2012, the government was aiming to increase the national total of students to two million by 2015.

Mebarki also said he was proceeding with the opening of other higher education schools such as the École Supérieure de la Biotechnologie and the École Nationale Polytechnique in Constantine, and preparatory schools for natural and life sciences planned for Algiers, Mostaganem and Oran.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.