Tunisia’s education system underwent rapid change after the country gained its independence from France. The government increased funding into the education sector and focused on the Arabization of teaching. These reforms lead to the current education regime in Tunisia.
Currently, there are 13 universities, 25 higher technological studies institutes and 68 private higher education institutions. The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in conjunction with the Universities Council oversees all public higher education institutions, including their funding.
Higher education is divided into three levels and is similar to the French system, licence (Bachelor’s), mastère (Master’s), doctorat (Doctorate). Within the Bachelor’s framework there is the option of academic Bachelor’s with more of a theoretical approach, or an applied Bachelor’s that is better suited for student looking to enter the workforce directly after their studies. Both of which are three years in duration.
Similarly, there are academic Master’s which act as a perquisite for doctorate level studies and professional Master’s that prepare students for direct entry into the workplace. These typically take two years to complete
Doctoral studies are a minimum of three years of research and courses.
The application process for nationals can be quite selective, applicants past academic record and grades are examined. Institutions have the discretion of using entrance exams to select students, these are normally held in early June and early July. The entrance exams involve specific programme studies whose list is fixed in the Academic Orientation Guide published annually by the Ministry of Higher Education. The institutions and the Ministry of Higher Education coordinate together to choose the first-year students.
International applicants need visas to study in Tunisia, requirements are nationality specific. In addition, international applicants must be enrolled in a graduate program of more than three months, the institution they select must be accredited, students must have proof of sufficient funds for the duration of their studies and lastly, students must have valid health insurance cover.
Applications are mainly submitted online.
Instruction in Tunisia is normally in French with some schools using Arabic or a mix of both. Some schools may include an English module as a second foreign language. International applicants may need to undergo testing to demonstrate their ability to learn in French.
Tuition fees in Tunisia vary depending on the program of your choice, type of applicant (national or foreign) and what type of institution students pursue their studies. Private institutions are more costly than their public counterparts, as they do not receive public funds and rely on tuition payments for their operation. University of Sfax a public higher education institution Bachelor’s degree is $5,000 USD for international students compared to $2,500 for domestic students. Whereas Tunis Carthage University a private institution Bachelor’s degree is $10,000 USD for both international and domestic applicants.
Information for International Students
Tunisia welcomes applicants from all over, international students are sometimes lured with the promise of work opportunities and scholarships. The cost of living in the country is very cost effective especially when compared to European and North American cities. On average it ranges anywhere from $200 to $450 USD/month. Students also benefit from discounted public transportation as well as discounts to certain restaurants.