Economic companies’ needs in engineers and the Tunisian experience in the area of training of its executives were the focus of a seminar held Monday at the Tunis City of Science on the theme: “Engineers’ Training: New Trends,” with the participation of directors of French engineering higher schools.
Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology Lazhar Bououni stressed the strong will to promote the engineering profession in Tunisia and provide high-level training in this area, with the support of international co-operation.
He also stressed efforts exerted to create a synergy between engineering higher schools and economic enterprises to deeproot a culture of entrepreneurship and better involve professionals in pedagogical programmes and activities and in the guidance and preparation of students for future professional occupations.
He praised the fruitful Tunisian-French co-operation in this area, embodied in the signing of several agreements including the one concluded between the Tunis National Engineering Higher School (ENIT) and the French National Higher School for Advanced Techniques (ENSTA).
These agreements aim at enhancing co-graduation and training of engineers, in line with international standards.
Ambassador of France to Tunisia Serge Degallaix said training, in particular of engineers, has always been at the centre of Tunisian-French co-operation.
He reminded of France’s contribution to the creation of INSAT (National Institute of Applied Science and Technology) and the support lent to the preparatory classes of IPEST (Preparatory Institute for Scientific and Technical Studies), underlining that 1500 students in engineering are pursuing studies in France, i.e. 15% of Tunisian students in this country. One hundred thirty five Tunisian students have joined major engineering schools this year.
The number of bachelor graduates oriented to engineering preparatory classes rose from 5000 in 2002 to 6400 in 2008-2009 and 7500 in 2009-2010.
The number of successful candidates in national exams for access to engineering studies reached till July 2009 nearly 3400 compared with 3168 in July 2008.
The number of engineering graduates (trained in Tunisia and abroad) rose from 1630 in 2001-2002 to 4510 in 2007-2008, including 31% in the information technology and telecommunications sector and 16% in the food industry sector.
The aim is to bring the number of Tunisian engineers up to 7000 by 2011-2012.
According to the 2006 statistics of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Tunisia had 36.8 graduate engineers per 100 thousand inhabitants (86.5 in France and 164.9 in Korea). Those figures reached 43.7% per thousand inhabitants in Tunisia in 2008.