Tunisia Develops New Programs to Attract More International Students


Subhashri Roy
Updated on Jul 05, 2021 02:54 PM IST

Tunisia is formulating a new strategy to reinforce its position as a destination for international students and developing new programs to attract more internationals students. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, around 4% of the 240,000 students studying in Tunisia's HEIs were international students.

Tunisia Develops New Programs to Attract More International Students

With an aim to become an international study destination and host 10% of its total higher education student body from overseas by 2025, Tunisia is making greater efforts and developing new programs.

According to recent data, around 4% of the 240,000 students studying in Tunisias higher education institutions pre-pandemic were from other countries, with the majority of them from Africa.

While speaking at the 2021 Going Global conference, Malek Kochlef, director general of international cooperation at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, said that Tunisia was formulating a new strategy to reinforce its position as a destination for international students.

Also Read: Support for COVID-19 Affected International Students in Australia

He added that they were developing a new plan to draw more overseas students, including paying tuition fees at public universities.

While Tunisian private universities also require international students to pay fees, this initiative led to Tunisia registering a record number of international students in 2020.

Kochlef explained that despite the pandemic this year, the country had lost only 2% of the number of the international students and that reasonable numbers of international students were anticipated to enroll.

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One of the many reasons for the same is the way the country handled issues with international students amid the pandemic, he mentioned. The country provided them with access to housing along with psychological and financial support.

Keeping in mind the difficulties faced by around 900 international students during the pandemic and the inability to arrive in Tunisia, the country created a centralised exam system by using spaces at universities in around 20 countries and even embassies of Tunisia and some other offices related to our ministry.

In addition, the country also introduced initiatives to ease the return of international students by organising PCR tests and quarantine facilities at hotels for over 400 international students. This let authorities keep in touch with students along with the source countries.

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Kochlef further said Tunisia attracts students on an individual basis and also through global cooperation along with to students to whom it offers waivers and scholarships. This way, the country got a reasonable number of students from other countries this year.

Tunisia is also looking forward to setting up a similar agency like UKCISA in the UK, which could support orientation of students and help them have a good student life experience.

Kochlef further said that students from over 40 African countries came to Tunisia with scholarships from the Government of Tunisia. Now, the country is looking at possibilities for students to pay fees at public universities which will hopefully attract more international students.

Stay tuned for the latest news and updates on foreign education!

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