Plan to open universities to their ‘surroundings’

As more than 1.6 million students prepared to start the new academic year in Algeria, Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Tahar Hadjar announced a development plan to open universities to their surroundings.

On a visit to Biskra province on the eve of the new academic year, Hadjar said: “Certainly, universities carry out activities that generate income and this is something we encourage. But the objective is not to make universities lucrative but to adopt a development plan that takes into account their environment,” reported the Algérie Presse Service or APS of Algiers.

Hadjar said the long-term plan required revision of all courses currently on offer in order to maximise the use of existing human, material and infrastructure resources, and to transform universities into efficient services in line with local and national development plans, with involvement by local decision-makers, civil society, and business and social operators.

Previously, the minister gave details of new measures to improve conditions for students, reported APS, which said that altogether more than 1.6 million students were expected to start the new year, including 323,822 first-years.

Places for an extra 100,000 students were being provided, said Hadjar. There would be an increase of 55,000 beds for students, raising the total to more than 700,000, he said.

With the aim of strengthening educational and scientific capacities, “the sector is budgeting for more than 5,400 new posts for recruitment of new lecturer-researchers”, said Hadjar.

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