72 laboratories shut after ‘negative assessments’

The Algerian authorities have stopped funding and closed 72 scientific research laboratories in 2018, following “negative assessments” of their activities.

Abdel Hafidh Aouragh, research director at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, told an international conference at Skikda University, organised by the Industrial Technologies Research Centre, that laboratories were evaluated by the relevant authorities every three years.

He said those that had been closed had received “negative assessments during the past three years”, and “we cannot fund a laboratory if the results are negative”, reported the Algérie Presse Service or APS.

During the assessment three years previously, 24 laboratories had been closed down, APS reported Aouragh as saying.

On another occasion, answering parliamentary questions, the Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Tahar Hadjar said laboratories were “subjected to regular inspections, and financial inspections by the auditor general, as well as scientific controls carried out by the ministry”, and that “the closure of some laboratories is because they are not cost effective”.

He said under the contract between the ministry and the laboratories, a laboratory threatened with closure was given a year during which it would be monitored. After that period, if its activities proved productive it would remain open; but if lack of productivity was confirmed it would be closed, reported APS.

Hadjar added that his ministry was also occupied with setting up new laboratories, and recognised “the existence of laboratories and researchers of a standard that is equal to that of some economic enterprises”. – Compiled by Jane Marshall

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