Toward A New Tunisian Education System

Mohamed Mediouni, tunisian education system, global education magazineMohamed Mediouni

Independent Researcher 



Abstract: To move forward, we need a scientific advancement. This progress must be the speed of a rocket to reach the same level than other countries like Israel, Singapore, etc. In this article, we show the benefits, the objectives, and the needs of sciences. It surveys the existing of some solutions applied in developed countries. These good solutions show the ability to solve many problems. Our goal is to discuss and answer three questions: where are we now? Where do we need to go? How do we get there?

Keywords: Knowledge, measures of skills, STEM, culture, religion.


1 Where are we now?

1.1 Ranking of universities in the world

The most important criteria for the ranking of universities in the world include: (1) education that is to say number of courses offered and number of students per teacher and (2) teacher quality that contains a number of publications, number of citations, and number of prizes (Nobel, Fields, Descartes, and Abel and Lomonosov). According to Times Higher Education Rankings, 20 countries have a good quality education with the remarkable domination of the U.S. This is logical, because US has 46 universities in the top that represents ”undisputed superpower”. We can cite five universities which have a reputation such as: Harvard university, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Princeton University. The countries listed in the figure have understood that economic growth requires a scientific discovery. Faced with this reality, they have improved their education systems by creating a great work environment.

Thomson Reuters, global education magazine

1.2 Annual publication output

In the last decade, we notice that only two countries (Iran, Turkey) have made an outstanding progress in the scientific field compared to other Arab countries such as Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, etc. The following figure shows a comparison of scientific research between Iran and other countries in 2009 as well as 10 years ago. Indeed, this country is truly on the best path in economic progress and in the field of research. In terms of scientific output, Iran has a record of 15,000 articles, which shows a significant increase in comparison with 2000 and 2001. This evolution is the result of people’s work, the mentality of the person, and the courage of leaderships include financial providers and politicians.

 Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge, global education magazine

2 Where do we need to go? And how do we get there?

We have seen that the difference with other countries is enormous. Tunisians have shown their ability to change a dictatorship. But now we have to think that the war is scientific to prevent the ignorance and the offset with other countries. ” Yes, we can” has been remembered as one of the best speeches of Obama to encourage people to give their best for their country. After our revolution in 2011, we must show that ” the possible is Tunisian”.

2.1 Democratization of knowledge

Globalization is marked by the development and rapid dissemination of knowledge accentuated by the use of new technologies. This new reality leads us to examine the practical development and dissemination of knowledge in the context of democratization. The innovation is inspired by the vision of the democratization of the education in terms of access, research and dissemination of the knowledge. The challenge is to find a relation between the opportunities and conditions for success of these initiatives. While this approach requires a lot of partners, it has the advantage of broadening and democratizing the circle of those who produce and disseminate academic knowledge. In this section, we will discuss the specific practices of partnership research, opportunities, challenges and conditions for success. The trust established with partners and scientists provides access to data and information. Research partnership can cover areas of research that are otherwise inaccessible to scientists. For instance, finding out the lifestyle of vulnerable populations such as the homeless, alcoholics or people with mental problems can become objects of evaluative research made possible by the collaboration of partners involved in these experiments. The research partnership enables the scientific community to focus on the main issues they face during their research. We need the transparency between academic researchers and partners in practice. 

2.2 Standardization of the measures of skills

To what extent are young adults prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow? Are they really able to analyze, think, and communicate their ideas? Do they have the tools to continue to learn throughout their lives? Many education systems follow the evolution of students so they can provide some answers to these questions. Comparative analysis at the international level can enrich the national work and determine the level of competence achieved by students from different countries and to be able to offer a broader context for the interpretation of national results. With this method, we can motivate students to learn better, teachers to teach better, and schools to be more effective. Governments and the general public need the reliable and the suitable information for an international comparison regarding the learning outcomes. For this reason, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) launched the Program for International Student Assessment (OECD / PISA). The task of qualifying has been entrusted to a panel of European universities that called the Tuning project (Lokhoff et al., 2010), which develops in the disciplines of “reference points (benchmarks) expressed in terms of learning outcomes (Humber et al, 2002).

2.3 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

When we ask, what are the skills, experiences, and environments necessary for innovation? And how do we build these environments to enhance the experiences and skills of students? It would not be an easy question to answer. In 2010, President Barack Obama claimed that “… Leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today—especially in science, technology, engineering and math.” As a result, this system which composed with four disciplines fills a need. It’s not educate to educate, but educate to innovate. The system encourages students to improve their educational levels thanks to a coherent learning system based on real world applications.  Preparing students in STEM (Cover et al., 2011) prepare them to be a better person able to play a big role in the society. The challenge of STEM education is varied and influenced by many diverse factors. Many students don’t know exactly what education, training and skills are needed for a STEM career. For example, the students in the field of biology must complete their formation that last five years with a masters degree, in order to secure a job in biotechnology. STEM program, which was characterized by a ”coherent system”, has been a success in the development and the scientific production in many countries such as Australia, Canada, and USA.

2.4 Creation of specialized research center

Universities and institutions in Tunisia are not enough to make a scientific revolution. The solution is to create a specialized research center in collaboration with universities and industry. The success of the U.S. economy is based on the network that links (universities, research centers, industry). We will give some examples of research centers of advanced sciences in developed countries: Medical Sciences Research Center, Center for Research in NanoEngineering, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization, Energy and Environmental Resource Center, and Center for Robotics and intelligent Machines. Research centers help universities to broaden the knowledge basis that will be used to improve the productivity of industrial companies. The success of the center must be conditioned by three basic notions: non-profit organization, transparency, and independence

2.5 Limit brain drain

In the literature, many articles discuss the phenomenon of the brain drain and try to understand why a Tunisian scientist prefers the university in USA. But, should we worry? Avenues of understanding can be suggested by considering the example of Stanford University, passed in five decades from a small regional university to a center of knowledge and innovation. American universities attract foreigners, because there are many laboratories and many fields to do research. Both of these percentages reflect this reality: 30% of students in American universities are PhD students and 40% of Stanford resources are from the research. American universities are characterized by well-equipped libraries, computer equipment permanently available, open, active and very neat environment. For example, Global Positioning System (GPS) was invented by Stanford University. The companies like Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics, Cisco, e-Bay, Google, Hewlett-Packard, and even Mondavi Vineyards were created by former students.

2.6 Modernisation of media and culture

Academics need the media to publicize their research, but when their words are distorted, it can lead to years of mistrust (Mediouni, 2014). We need a journalist who specializes in the field of science. In the USA, there are many journalists who do an excellent job, recount the facts and pass accurately. It’s disappointing when a project requires a lot of effort and the results are promising, doesn’t benefit from the coverage of the media. (Evidence Network. CA) is an organization recently created and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canada Research Council of Manitoba, led by Noralou Roos, professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba. The online project tries to provide information based on evidence by putting journalists in contact with experts. This tactic encourages academics to disseminate their messages and their opinions.

3 What are the prospects for Tunisia?

Today, The Tunisian model is characterized by a sick system and we need some solutions based on the American model

* Academics are free to organize their work for sufficient periods to ensure their innovative character.

* Redefinition of the role of the industry and the university. The success of Silicon Valleys (Markoff, 2009) of the world rests on the perception understood the integration of PhD students in industry.

* It is urgent to renovate the infrastructure of universities and colleges.

* Innovation capacity of university laboratories should be encouraged.

* It is imperative that the university system is composed of scientists and the general public, and in particular the former students.

4 The relation between religion and Knowledge

Ernest Hemingway has mentioned that ”All thinking men are Atheists”(Hemingway, 1926). The history contradicted this assertion. We have many scientist’s believers such as Sir Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Blaise Pascal and Louis Pasteur which are attached to their religion. Stephen Jay Gould, promotes the respect for science and religion as two fields of knowledge quite distinct. This representation of the relationship between science and religion is called NOMA (Non-Overlapping Magisteria) (Gould, 1997).

science and religion 1, global education magazine

Others believe that science and religion cover the same fields of study. According to this view, science and religion seek to define the same thing, which some define all reality. Most people who adopt this paradigm reject either science or religion. But is it true that science can study everything and explain everything? Is it true that religion can replace science as a source of information about the universe? This world view is flawed because it doesn’t recognize the limitations of each of these disciplines.

science and religion 2, global education magazine

Albert Einstein said: “A legitimate conflict between science and religion cannot exist: science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind”(Einstein, 1941)

science and religion 3, global education magazine

Tunisia is a Muslim country. The fundamental message of Islam is very similar to all religions: is to be a good human being, to follow your god, and to focus on the knowledge, knowledge, and knowledge. Tunisia is a mixture of several original (Musulman, Africain, Mediterranean, Arabe, etc.). Tunisian doesn’t have any internal conflicts of culture and civilization. The key is how can build bridges between Tunisia and other nations with knowledge.

5 Conclusions

Today, the vitality of our economic and intellectual forces depends more than ever, the attractiveness of our system of education and research. If the state can contribute the development of this project, the success will also require the involvement attached to each individual who loves Tunisia.


Lokhoff, J., Wegewijs B., Durkin K., Wagenaar R., González J., Isaacs A.K., and Gobbi M., A. (2010) Tuning Guide to Formulating Degree Program Profiles. Bilbao, Groningen and The Hague.

Humber, S., Rowe K., and Luc L.T. (2002). Graduate Skills Assessment. Commonwealth of Australia.

Cover, B., John, I. Jones, and Watson, A. (2011). Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations: a visual essay. Visual Essay: STEM Occupations, Vol. 134, No. 5.

Mediouni, M. THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS: IT’S CHARISMATIC. Proceedings International Internet Conference. Volume 16, Number 1, 2014, page 73-77.

Markoff, J. (2009). “Searching for Silicon Valley”. New York Times (The New York Times Company).

Hemingway, E. (1926), The Sun Also Rises. Retrieved from

Gould, S. J. (1997). “Nonoverlapping Magisteria.” Natural History 106 (March): 16–22.

Einstein, A. (1941). Science, Philosophy and Religion, A Symposium. The Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York.

This article was published on 21stSeptember International Day of Peace, in Global Education Magazine.

  • Guest

    Dear Mohamed,

    I have read your article, However if you have read my book then please ponder on it and you will realize that I cannot agree with you. What Muslim countries need is the technology because education system on the whole is in very bad shape because it is based on western system of education. Apart from languages & mass communication every other subject in education is so designed that these will encourage atheism. Medical science is basically not a science but technology. All sciences be it physical, biological & social are fundamentally incorrect whereas the main subject which is philosophy has been removed. Political science is concerned with how the democracy is run whereas actual purpose of the subject is to know which political system is practicable. In law they teach what laws are enacted under democracy whereas they are supposed to teach what should be the laws.


    Mohamed Shafiq khan

  • Julia Roberts

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    • Guest

      Thank you Julia

    • Guest

      what is you email

    • mohamed

      Thank you Julia, It’s an honor for me to receive such comments

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