Five-star plan to support students to commercialise research

The Algerian university is undergoing far-reaching changes, and the series of measures aimed at lifting it from its lethargy is continuing with the government’s decision to break the inevitable ‘degree-unemployment’ and replace it by backing a programme to support creation of businesses.

So, students will have the right to a training course at the end of their studies enabling them to launch their start-up but, above all, to realise their research projects.

It concerns allowing students who achieve excellent results during their training and during their thesis at the end of their course to qualify for the right to create a start-up or obtain a patent for an invention.

From now on, university authorities are required to do whatever is necessary to establish processes for supporting and accompanying students from their first university year, and making them aware of these processes, while assessing all their work and projects carried out during their studies in order to support the results of their research work.

Start-up or patent diploma

On 27 September, the ministry of higher education and scientific research raised “the necessity of generalising the experience of the start-up diploma or patent diploma, on one hand, and the incentive for competition and excellence on the other”.

“This process will allow a student who gets an excellent average during their studies and finishes their research projects with a vigorous thesis at the end of their courses to benefit from the right to create their own company, enabling them to commercialise their product or giving them the opportunity to record their work with other organisations specialised in registering and protecting intellectual property, to create their own company or negotiate to submit their work to a third party so society can profit from their product,” according to the public statement.

Through this approach, the government intends to promote the idea of “five-star students”. They will follow a five-stage training course and be assessed at the end of each step, to be awarded a star. At the end of the course, they will appear before an assessment committee which will give its final verdict.

The first stage will be awarded for academic prowess in the licence [BA equivalent] or masters degree course.

The second will be given for students’ work carried out in companies in the sectors relevant to their internships in these companies.

The third star will be given for students’ language skills, sports activities, knowledge of information technology and participation in seminars and other discussions.

The fourth star will be for distance education, especially through MOOCs (massive open online courses) and Erasmus+. The Erasmus+ programme of the European Union was introduced in Algeria in 2014 to encourage partnerships between institutions.

Finally, the fifth star will be awarded for students’ participation in voluntary activities, their academic cooperation with organisations accredited in Algeria, and also their activities within the student community through student associations, class councils, and so on.

This array of measures should come into force after approval by the universities’ scientific councils.

This news report by Azzeddine Bensouiah was translated from French by Jane Marshall.