Only one university, the University of Algiers, predates Algeria’s independence in 1962, so the decades since then have seen enormous change in the country’s higher education system. There are now over 130 higher education institutions in Algeria. In the decade from 2005 to 2015, the number of higher education institutions almost doubled. The vast majority of students in Algeria attend public institutions, as private higher education institutions attract only about 1% of students in the country.
Bachelor’s degrees in Algerian universities usually take three years to complete and are divided into 14 fields of study. Each field is then broken down further into courses and specialisations. Master’s degrees take two years and usually include a practical internship in a professional environment. Doctorates take at least three years. The language of instruction is usually either Arabic or French. The country’s universities do not offer programmes taught in English. Admission is usually based on school examination results. Some courses and fields require certain grades in essential subjects and others may require medical certificates or for the student to undergo an interview before a university panel. Admission to postgraduate degrees is usually based on entrance examinations.
Students enrolling in public universities pay a nominal enrolment fee. All education, from primary to doctoral level, is free to Algerian students and to students with Algerian parents. State financial aid is available to undergraduate students, while postgraduate students can apply for study and research grants. Fees for international students vary by programme and institution, students are advised to contact their institution of choice directly for more information. All students with special needs are entitled to a state scholarship and other forms of state support, and this also includes international students.
Information for International Students
Specialist science courses are usually taught in French and international students will be required to provide proof of language proficiency or can take a one-year intensive language course, which is available at most Algerian higher education institutions. International students can apply to Algerian universities but are required to provide a certificate obtained from the Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Most international students will require a student visa to study in Algeria. A visa cannot be obtained on arrival, students must apply at the Algerian embassy or consulate in their own country. Students will be required to provide the following documentation: completed application forms, passport photos, passport, enrolment confirmation, evidence of payment of tuition fees, and evidence of sufficient funds for the duration of study.