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Around the world, universities face myriad challenges: how to educate as many students as possible, while keeping the quality of teaching and research high, and responding to the pressures of globalisation and privatisation.
Tunisia has met some of these challenges by embracing the power of digital technology to support students, explains digital education specialist Houda Bouslama in this audio interview. Back in 2002, the country opened the Virtual University of Tunis (UVT), initially to help integrate information and communications technologies into the broader higher education sector.
Since then the university has developed its own departments, using the power of a rapidly evolving digital landscape to offer social science and arts courses. Bouslama is the university’s English programme coordinator. Other Tunisian universities, too, can use the technology UVT offers to provide students with courses such as MOOCs (massive open online courses).
But this isn’t just about the sleek modernity and appeal of digital tech. Tunisia draws on a long tradition of believing passionately in the power of education and investing in it robustly, Bouslama says. With this intellectual foundation in place, the country is turning technology into a tool to take the country forward, “rethink our system of education and open up so that young people can express themselves in this global world”, she says.
This is part of the Africa’s PhD Renaissance series on higher education across the continent, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.