The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Professor Chems Eddine Chitour, admitted, in his first media statement on Sunday, that the Algerian University is neither internationally classified nor internationally known, which makes it lie at the bottom of the African and Arab rankings every year and outside the realm of international classification.
Mr. Chems Eddine Chitour also spoke on the occasion about the “controversial subject” of foreign languages in Algerian universities.
At a press conference organized on Sunday 19th January, on the occasion of the inauguration of the symposium of the National Research Institutes, by the Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Chems Eddine Chitour spoke about the use of English or French in university teaching in Algeria, particularly in the context of scientific research.
Thus, the Minister, who is also engineer of the Polytechnique School of Algiers, stated that he “was not interested in knowing in which language the teaching was done at the university”, adding that the most important thing for him was “the content and level of the university programs, whether in French or English».
In this sense, Minister Chems Eddine Chitour expressed his intention to “reach out” to professors and academics, while calling on researchers to engage in this path to reform higher education in Algeria in a framework of steady consultations and fruitful exchanges.
Mr. Chitour also announced the organization of a national exhibition to promote the best research projects, saying that 20% of them should be transformed into real projects, especially in scientific disciplines.
Using English or French? That is the question. It is worth recalling that Chitour’s predecessor, Tayeb Bouzid, had begun to bolster the teaching of English in Algerian universities.
In July of last year, the former minister had sent a note to the rectors asking them to write the headings of university administrative documents in Arabic and English, effectively excluding the French language.