The most beautiful and the best for ‘getting a job’ Universities

The most beautiful and the best for ‘getting a job’ Universities

The Edvocate’s published in November 5th and 6th, 2017, these  Matthew Lynch writings that are reproduced here, on universities or rather on the most beautiful and the best for ‘getting a job’ universities. The reasons behind such articles referring to no methodological framework are surely based on the numerous rankings of world universities are perhaps to somehow vulgarise the very often elaborate and difficult to perceive these now common rankings.

University campuses aren’t only sites of incredible learning, they are also sites of incredible beauty.




Here are five of the world’s most beautiful universities for the year 2018.

University of Cambridge

No list of the most beautiful universities in the world can fail to mention the University of Cambridge, one of the most recognizable universities in the world.

Not only is the university housed in old, gothic stone buildings, but the whole city of Cambridge is picture perfect.

What is more, kings, popes, and some of the world’s greatest thinkers have wandered these incredible halls.

Peking University

Peking University is situated near the Qing dynasty Summer Palace and former imperial gardens, providing it a rich template for creating a beautiful university grounds.

The design included traditional architecture and played on the original landscaping of the area, creating a look of a university fit for Chinese royalty.

Peking University isn’t just a pretty face. It’s also an excellent research university and is situated in the Beijing, one of the most cosmopolitan places on earth.

Leiden University

Only half an hour from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, Leiden University is situated in the small Dutch town of Leiden.

Leiden University is quintessentially Dutch in the best way. It is home to beautiful gardens, historic gatehouses, and the walk between classes includes traveling down the same cobblestone streets that once inspired the likes of Rembrandt van Rijn, who resided in the city.

Flagler College

Flagler College is located in the center of St. Augustine, Florida. Compared to other listed universities, it is both relatively small and new. However, its campus is incredibly unique.

The buildings were created in the Spanish colonial style of the town, which is the oldest city in America and founded in 1565. Palm trees sway in the wind and old streets, houses, and the Atlantic Ocean is only a short walk away.

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin is a major attraction not only for the brightest pupils in Ireland and around the world but for tourists as well.

The campus, set in Dublin’s city center, features gorgeous greens perfect for lazing around in with fellow classmates on days when it isn’t raining. When the weather isn’t right, the Old Library is potentially the most beautiful place in the world to settle in for a long day of studying.

Is your college a contender for the world’s most beautiful university? Tell us about your schools beauty in the Edvocate’s comments below.

 In the meantime here is the:



Your college years will likely be one of the most exceptional experiences of your life. They will come to an end, however, as you get your degree and look for work in your future career.

After spending half a decade in higher education, you want assurance that you’ll be able to get a good job.  If you chose an accredited school with a good reputation, your chance of finding employment in your field are excellent.

What are the best universities for getting a job?

These schools consistently rank among the top for employment, and 2018 will be no different. They are evaluated based on reputation with employers, employment rates, and how well alumni do in their careers.

Big 10 and Ivy League Schools

Stanford University – This school, which is ranked the tops school in the world for employment, has a history of staying connected with graduates. College leaders gather and analyze data, using it make decisions about programmatic changes.

Harvard University – Harvard maintains deep employer connections with businesses worldwide, and students have excellent employment outlooks.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – By assigning mentors and staying in close contacts with industry leaders, MIT ensures that their students are not only employable, but they are also highly sought after.

Columbia University – It’s true that successful people come from successful institutions, and Columbia consistently turns out graduates that are highly employable.

University of Pennsylvania – Students from this school generate more interest from employers than students at any other college in the Ivy League, with a return rate of 30.6%.

International Schools

The University of Sydney – A leading research university, this school is number one for employability in Australia and the fourth best institute of higher learning in the world.

University of Oxford – Oxford helps students connect with potential employers with CareerConnect, an intranet exclusive to students at the school. The school matches student skills with employer needs.

Tsinghua University (China) – Twice now this university has made it into the top ten list for graduate employability thanks to a strong academic reputation and employer partnerships.

How your university can help you land a job

Getting into a school with excellent employability ratings assures you that you’ll be marketable when you graduate. It’s often one of the most compelling reasons to attend a particular university.

Even if you don’t attend one of the top universities known for its employability, you can still take advantage of the connections your college has with employers in your area, the region and beyond.




The idea of resorting in anticipation to the IMF

The idea of resorting in anticipation to the IMF

The weekly column of El Kadi Ihsane on El Watan of October 30, 2017, reveals a surprising debate that is not yet public on how to engage the reforms that would prevent Algeria from another economic trap. Republished on Maghreb Emergent of November 3rd, it obviously tracks the financial uphill struggle of an oil exports based rentier economy trying to remain afloat. It is  about the idea of resorting in anticipation to the IMF and as early as possible. We reproduce this article here below as translated by ourselves with our compliments to the author as well as thanks to both publishers.

Algeria: the idea of resorting in anticipation to the IMF builds up against main stream thinking



Algeria should immediately knock on the door of the IMF while it is still standing. This is a bold idea that was floated by one of the Algerian think-tanks working on the economy and society. It carries an implicit assumption that without any contracted debt with a multilateral institution, there might be no economic modernization reform. Thus, a dual purpose. Straighten the budget in the short term to allow a serene look at the concerning medium-term horizon. And avoid arriving in 2021-2022 at the IMF in a situation of a failed state. With the implication that this might cause in terms of tough adjustments.

There is of course another path towards modernization, that of self-reform. This unfortunately seems not to be on the agenda under the reconstituted Bouteflika-Ouyahia-ticket. This ruled over 7 years out of the last 18 years. It is urgent to act and for that matter go faster towards the external constraint. The idea suggested in the debate would be to borrow ten billion dollars from the IMF in support of the “restructuring” of the balance of payments as spread over the next five to seven years against part of a reform roadmap structure that would boost the performance of the investment market conditions in Algeria. Technically, the risk of excessive debt, would under this proposal, be largely sustainable.

The monetary accommodation policies of Western central banks will be in place for a long time and the recovery of interest rates will be spread over that period. Another argument, the negotiation of any conditionality will be easier, allowing the smoothing of better mastered reform effects. For instance, removing the bailout of public companies without market would trade in a more socially acceptable agenda. The strategic function of such an action in advance to the IMF would be to put the Algerian economy under positive external constraint. It would force future governments to act as if the country was already insolvent in its balance of payments. But “with heads held high” because it would not really be the case. The Algerians could then choose “commitments” to adjust their economies more freely than in the case where it is the IMF that would dictate according to its well-known standard list, although it has been updated since 1994.

Would the international financial institutions lend to a country that is not yet in deficit in its balance of payments? There are conflicting views in this debate. The idea is not to wait to have to go to the financial market to finance the anticipated trade hole between Algeria and the rest of the world. Ahmed Benbitour, former minister of finance thinks not; Algeria would not in this case be able to raise any funds. “No creditworthy assets to table as collateral for reimbursement in medium to long term deals”, he said. Only short-term trade credits would be available as per those same people who aggravated the situation in the country between 1986 and 1990.

The use of the IMF from 2018 would therefore not to have and gauge his signature to market at the most sensitive moment when the exchange reserves come to flirt with zero in 2020. The idea that stirs this think tank is well on to against current official orthodoxy that binds political sovereignty to debt reduction. This is its unrealistic side. So innovative. It proposes to make debt stress macro-adjustment modernizing an engine of reform. Without which nothing serious would happen. Until the next collapse. Who under Bouteflika IV to politically sell this early return to the IMF as a booster of diversification?

Oil at $ 60 ?

The move in oil prices above $ 60 this week is unlikely to change the perception of the Algerian risk of collapse. For at least two reasons. The first is related to the new structure of the world oil market making the US Shale Oil, its new adjustment variable. Historical role that was of the OPEC and its major producers. The US production recovered in 2017 and the additional exports will come inflate global stocks in the coming months.

$ 60 this week appears to most observers as a high threshold difficult to maintain in the absence of a hard reboot of global consumption of carbon energy. At $ 60 a barrel, Algerian exports remain within the borders of 30-35 billion Dollars in annual revenue. So always on the path of the external shock with a rampant deficit of the balance of payments. Why?

This is where the second reason for maintaining the negative prospective on Algerian risk. The increase in domestic oil consumption is astronomical. It cancels any effects to medium term. This is the Algerian energy minister who as responsible reminds all, this week. Domestic oil consumption doubled between 2010 and 2017.

The structural reforms that an IMF loan may require of Algeria? These would be researched here.

And it’s an emergency.


Algeria has 26 Universities and 65 Institutions of higher education

Algeria has 26 Universities and 65 Institutions of higher education


University education includes law and medical schools and technical institutes with the oldest institution operating for over 136 years. With one of the highest rates of education in the region, Algeria has 26 Universities and 65 Institutions of higher education but has nevertheless problems related to their immediate environment which basically stem from its long-time lack of independence and / or subservience to the country’s highly centralised governance model.  Laeed Zaghlami, elaborates on the main issues on October 6, 2017 in  Issue No:477 of University World News. 
It is to be noted that unlike its neighbouring countries, none of the institutions predating  the country’s fall to the French colonial occupation has been rehabilitated to a modern equivalent status.

University of Constantine

Universities start to play catch-up in innovation drive

After many years of lethargy, inertia and bureaucracy, universities and higher education centres and institutions are pushing a new approach to higher education – one that is based more heavily on innovation, entrepreneurship and partnerships with private and public companies. 

“Our universities have suffered years of dirigism [where the state plays a strong directive role, and administrative management],” said Chems Eddine Chitour, professor at the University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene or USTHB in Algiers.

“Political interference, inertia and heavy bureaucracy have threatened to empty Algerian universities of quality, creativity, research and innovation. Today, there is a real need to catch up with scientific and technological developments,” he told University World News

The signs of change are there if you look, with many universities entering into partnerships with private and public companies, aimed at driving innovation and entrepreneurship. For example, the Algiers-based Center for Advanced Technology Development or CDTA has recently launched the third ‘Hard Innovation’ edition. 

According to Dr Ammar Mansouri, an expert in nuclear physics, this initiative encourages the translation of original ideas from young innovators into competitive enterprises through the new CDTA-installed incubator. 


According to Mansouri, the CDTA has already facilitated the signing of contracts between young innovators and various companies. 

Among the success stories is Imène Malek, a young innovator or entrepreneur selected for his project known as ‘Aquasafe’, which uses ICTs for the detection of pollution generated by industrial waste. Malek has signed an agreement with SEAAL, a French water company in charge of the control of levels of hydrocarbons and water quality in the capital of Algiers. 

In the area of transport management, Brahim Omar, a land transport engineer, has developed an application which uses a Geographic Information System that will assist road users to avoid traffic jams in the city. 

Another successful project by Bekhouche Mohamed Amine, based at the National School of Technology or ENST in Algiers, relates to the control of access using number checks and facial recognition. 

Said Djeridi from the department of electronic engineering at USTHB has developed a tool to measure heart rate and rhythm of a patient. The information is instantaneously transmitted to the physician in order to reduce the number of unnecessary visits to a doctor.

Not far away from Algiers, at University Saad Dahleb in Blida, 50 kilometres south of the capital, 50 students from several universities, including El Oued, Biskra, Sidi-Bel-Abbes, Algiers, National School of Practical Arts of El Harrach, National Polytechnic School, Institute of Constantine and USTHB, recently took part in an inter-university demonstration in the field of aerospace. 

Under the supervision of Algerian engineer Abdelkader Kharrat, who is based in Canada, all eight teams have been working to meet the challenge of developing and building a space rocket. 

Quality of ideas

Kharrat said he was delighted by the quality of the proposed ideas, which he said were “worthy of any of the universities in the world”. 

Mohamed Baghdadi, a member of the ‘rocket group’, said his team had worked hard to finish the project in record time and had issued a request to the relevant authorities to enable them to carry out the testing procedure. Will the authorities in Algeria listen to Mohamed Baghdadi’s appeal? The answer is not yet entirely clear.

“The relationship between universities, higher education centres, and private and public companies and institutions is still marginal and requires a strong, formal and practical commitment from both sides,” said Younes Grar, a former researcher at the CDTA. 

However, there are signs of positive collaboration. For example, Wilaya, a public administrative district of Algiers, participated in the third edition of ‘Hard Innovation’ and offered to enter a partnership scheme with the academic community and provide some sponsorship. 

Fatiha Slimani, assistant to the Governor of Algiers and in charge of implementing this scheme, said the initiative “encourages young people, innovation and all the new technologies. It is normal to sponsor and participate financially in this kind of event,” she said, the objective of which is to “support successful candidates during the three days of competition and thus contribute to the realisation of their ideas”.

Master plan for urban development

Slimani said that the district had drawn up a strategic plan for the development of the capital towards 2035 and had launched a master plan for development and town planning that covers all municipalities in the capital, which would rely on innovation and new technologies. 

“We need to integrate new technologies and the use of ICTs to develop the city and improve the living environment of the citizens … Unfortunately, most Algerian academics prefer to continue their development in research and innovation abroad … This must be remedied by opening up paths and giving hope to retain young people with skills.”

Because there were insufficient resources to provide assistance to all young people developing small projects, she said it was necessary to create an environment that allows young people to meet with industry and government representatives. 

Slimani said the district was perpetually looking for organisations interested in purchasing innovative products and the district administration holds regular meetings with industrialists to introduce innovation projects.

Co-working space

In another attempt to boost and support innovation, a co-working space for freelancers, business people, innovators and students has been launched in Blida which facilitates professional networking. 

Founder of the space, Fatma-Zohra Foudil, said: “Our space is an ideal place to work in groups or solo, to fine-tune projects and increase the network … We introduced this idea after seeing that this concept existed abroad and for the needs of our society. We would also like to exploit the skills of each person who wishes to develop.”

Amar Benabda, a student at University Saad Dahleb, said the co-working space was “stimulating for creators, talents and companies”. 

Ultimately, Foudil plans to organise training in the fields of IT, soft skills (personal development), paramedical and medical services, and commerce.


International Students in Britain and the English language requirements

International Students in Britain and the English language requirements

In the United Kingdom, all universities state their English language requirements in writing, speaking, listening and reading and have them checked through various tests with the minimum grade overall, and usually the minimum grades required specifically tailored for each course.  International Students in Britain and the English language requirements are a problematic that is recurrent at every start of a new academic year.

The reasons are various.

The affluence of worldwide candidates coupled with the ever-increasing university costs have over the years been the influencing factors of this seeking higher mastery levels of the English language from each and every one.

We republish this article of Bobby Pathak, Heriot-Watt University not only because of the great majority of the MENA’s youth obvious interest in universities of the United Kingdom but to also try and lend a hand to all. .

Do international students in Britain need better English skills?

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The start of the academic year is fast approaching, with new students from across the UK looking forward to starting university with a mix of trepidation and excitement.

The UK is also a popular place for international students to study, given that it has some of the best universities in the world. This means that many UK students studying at a British university will be joined in their lectures by students from around the world.

The latest UK Council for International Student Affairs report shows that Chinese students studying at UK universities have far exceeded any other nationality since 2013. The same report also reveals that China is the only country showing significant increases compared with other non-EU countries where recruitment is virtually stagnant.

For many of these students from China, this may be the first time they are educated in only English. And there is the expectation that these students will be able to fully understand and keep up with other students.

Language ability

Having adequate English language skills is important to international students, as there’s no point in them turning up on their first day only to realise they don’t understand the curriculum. In the same way, this proficiency is also important to native English speakers – given that many courses require an element of group work and seminar discussions. Universities don’t want to accept students who will ultimately fail their course either.

International students are offered a place at UK universities on the condition that they have a certain level of English language proficiency. This is checked through a UK Home Office approved test known as the Secured English Language Test.

International students can sometimes struggle with the language.

In theory, students sit the test, pass and then look forward to starting their new life in a new country. But things get problematic when students do not achieve the required score. In this case, universities may then offer an additional pre-sessional programme of English language study at an extra cost to the student. If completed successfully, this allows these students onto their chosen course.

So far, so good. But the the problem here is that many students do not actually take the Secured English Language Test at the end of their pre-sessional programme. This means that it’s never categorically known if, by the end of the summer course, a student’s language proficiency is at the level originally required by the university.

Testing times

That said, it’s not in the interest of universities to set a student up for failure. But surely if the entry requirement of a university course is a certain grade in the Home Office exam, then the same exam should be given at the end of these programmes. This would help to maintain a level playing field for all students on the course.

As someone who works on these pre-sessional programmes as an assistant professor, I believe there is clearly a value in teaching English for academic purposes. These sessions are also a time when nonnative learners can get a sense of the UK’s academic culture along with the conventions they will be expected to follow – something some UK students would also benefit from, too.

International students need to be made to feel welcome.

But of course, the point of the programmes is about getting students up to a certain standard of English. Perhaps then the answer is for the Home Office approved tests to be changed to better reflect what is being covered in university pre-sessional programmes.

What this all boils down to is that universities must make sure they are doing enough to support international students. And this support is particularly important given the outcome of the EU referendum and the UK’s apparent fixation with immigration. In this way, the numbers speak for themselves – international students wanting to come and study in the UK is no longer something universities can simply take for granted.

Bobby Pathak, Assistant Professor (Pre-Sessional) English for Academic Purposes, Heriot-Watt University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Decreasing Number of Sub-Saharan Students in Tunisia

Decreasing Number of Sub-Saharan Students in Tunisia

The number of tourists that visited Tunisia thus far in 2017 reached 4.58 million according to the Tunisian Ministry of Tourism in a statement reported by the local media. The Tunisian radio did not specify, however, what was the rate of tourism growth compared to the same period of last year. According to FM Radio Express, tourists from neighbouring countries numbered 1.45 million of this overall figure, or 60.7% more compared to 2016. Up by 16%, the increase in the number of European tourists is also substantial, per the Tunisian Ministry of Tourism of the anticipated total 6.5 million tourists this year. These statistics were however objected to in Tunisia where some observers noted that these included all non-residents, i.e. Tunisians living abroad as well as a decreasing number of sub-Saharan students in Tunisia. Wagdy Sawahel, in a University World News of September 1st, 2017, Issue No:472  elaborates on this particular segment.

Tunisia in new bid to attract Sub-Saharan students

A series of new measures to reverse the sharp decline in numbers of Sub-Saharan African students in Tunisia over the next three years has been unveiled.  Numbers of Sub-Saharan students in Tunisia have fallen from 12,000 in 2010 to 4,000 for the 2016-17 academic year, according to figures presented at the first meeting of the Tunisian African Empowerment Forum held at the Palais des Congrès in Tunis, Tunisia from 22-23 August. The forum was organised by the Tunisia-Africa Business Council, or TABC, in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Association of African Students and Trainees in Tunisia. The new measures, aimed at growing the number of Sub-Saharan students to 20,000 by 2020, were outlined at the forum. They include a greater focus on the internationalisation of Tunisian higher education, promotion of Tunisia as a desirable destination for students from Sub-Saharan Africa and the development of mutual trust between Tunisia and the Sub-Saharan region.  A web-based platform has also been developed to encourage greater interest from and support for African students. Cooperation strategy The above measures are geared towards the implementation of the Tunisian-African higher education cooperation strategy, which was discussed at the forum. The strategy is based on two axes: the sharing of Tunisian expertise and bringing more students from all countries on the continent to Tunisia. Against this backdrop, cooperation agreements have been initiated by Tunisia with Mauritania, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and South Africa. Official figures presented at the forum indicated that foreign students make up 2.5% of the total student population. Among this proportion, 74% are African students from 40 countries, 29% being from Sub-Saharan Africa. As many as 98% of foreign students in Tunisian private universities are Africans. Besides having 13 public universities which serve approximately 260,000 students including 6,000 foreigners, Tunisia has 72 private institutions of higher education that serve 32,000 students including 4,000 foreign students.  Last month’s forum identified several factors hindering the intake of African students into Tunisian higher education. According to the Association of African Students and Trainees in Tunisia, established in 1993 to advocate on behalf of Tunisia’s Sub-Saharan community and promote Sub-Saharan culture, over 60% of requests for permission to study in the country by African students are not granted.  Racism A TABC study also highlighted the problem of racism towards Sub-Saharan students in Tunisia, which has manifested recently in the form of physical and verbal violence targeting Sub-Saharan Africans. These attacks have been covered in local news reportsand the vulnerability of students from Sub-Saharan Africa in Tunisia was highlighted in a video report available on YouTube. At present, the Tunisian government is considering a draft law against racism and discrimination.
Mack Arthur Deongane Yopasho, president of the Association of African Students and Trainees in Tunisia, described the racism against the students as a “situation that ruins the lives of Sub-Saharan students [who are] often forced to desert Tunisia to continue their studies in Morocco”. Reports indicate that about 18,000 postgraduate students from Sub-Saharan Africa study at Moroccan universities.  Cultural awareness Manar Sabry, Middle East and North Africa region editor for the Comparative and International Education Society newsletter and a higher education expert at Binghamton University, State University of New York, told University World News that an important first step in combating racism is raising awareness of Sub-Saharan cultural traditions on Tunisian campuses.  “Teaching courses in schools and universities on racism and multi-cultural education will help Tunisians recognise their implicit biases. Implementing programmes that bring both student groups together for celebrations of African holidays will increase appreciation of national differences and spread a message of inclusive diversity,” she said.  “It is vital that administrators provide institutional support for African students in the development of their own co-curricular clubs and activities.” She said faculty should also undertake proactive actions to recruit more African students to Tunisian universities. “It is essential to cultivate an image that appeals to international students and remove the financial boundaries that prevent highly qualified students from applying,” she said.  “This step is essential in creating a minority African population on campus that is large enough to form interpersonal social networks that will reduce feelings of alienation,” she said. Samir Khalaf Abd-El-Aal, professor of genetics and molecular biology at the National Research Centre in Egypt, welcomed the launch of a Tunisian-African higher education cooperation strategy. “This strategy is a good start to enhance North Africa-Sub-Saharan Africa cooperation in higher education in order to promote student and staff exchange as well as facilitating knowledge and best practices transfer among universities across the African continent”, Abd-El-Aal said.

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