Algeria and Educational Development; the LMD System as an Algerian Step towards Globalisation in Higher Education

Before ever evoking the subject of Globalisation, we need first to say a word about Algeria. This great country is the gate of Africa. It is situated in the North central part of Africa opening her arms to the Mediterranean ٍSea, facing the European continent. She has also two wings “as France named them in the colonial period”. These are Tunisia which is the eastern wing and Morocco; the western one. Algeria’s back is all of the great, vague and rich African countries. Algeria must, then, be one of the countries mostly concerned with Globalisation. One can ask why especially if he is not totally aware of the Algerian foreign policy. We have a serious tendency to participate in every programme or apply any system which serves this openness to the world. We need to be wider than before because our position forces us in a way to open our arms to Globalisation.
Algeria takes part in Arab leagues, programmes and meetings as we, Algerians, are classified among the Arab world. Algeria is before all an African country because we are Africans and Berbers before Arabs came to conquer her. Hence, we are totally included in African affairs. As a country situated in the Mediterranean Area, we also share many diplomatic, economic and cultural activities and establish many relations with Mediterranean countries. Algeria’s strategic place together with the tendency to establish friendly relations with most countries of the world with a focus upon the leading powers of the world are the prerequisites which push her forward to swim within the flow of Globalisation.
In this article, we are going to present some details about the educational reform at the level of higher education (i.e. University level). This reform is intended to let the Algerian educational system and research go hand in hand with the international ones. Thus, the Algerian educational reform is an example of how our government tries to apply identical systems of most developed countries.
The application of the LMD system in Algeria is considered a step towards Globalisation because this Anglo-Saxon programme has proved its success and it has, more or less, been adopted by most not only European countries, but also most countries of the world. This system has been applied right from some year ago in Morocco and this year, it is included in only the universities that accepted piloting it.
Before taking a final decision and drafting an official document, there was a consultation of a large number of teachers of higher education (more than 60) coming from about 10 universities. The document has been the fruit of a serious debate of about one year. Most of the engaged partners (where students have been associated in some cases) did their best to make this enterprise succeed just for the sake of encouraging the future well being of the Algerian university. This would permit for the first time in a decade time to initiate considerable changes by first the teachers themselves. The innovation that the Algerian universities are going to apply permits a real re-foundation of the programmes which have been somehow inadequate to the development of the world and science as well.
Of course, because of the newness of this system in the Algerian educational system, it seems relevant to represent some of its key components to help the reader be more included in the Algerian openness towards development. We shall first introduce the three constituent elements of the system. It is made of the Licence with 6 semesters (three years of study and the equivalence of the BA i.e. Bachelor Degree), a Master degree of two years (4 semesters) is the second phase whereas the last period is the Doctorate studies of three years of research (6 semesters).
As afore-said, before starting this system officially, there has been a long discussion held by teachers of higher education. The decision is the product of more than a year of debate which took place in many universities naming Annaba and Constantine. The aim behind changing the system of teaching in our educational system at university level is to create an overall innovation within the Algerian universities to permit them follow the flow of real foundations adequate with the evolution of not only scientific research and educational techniques, but the world as well. This is, of course, a salient matter for the possibility to speak the same langue in similar fields and use the same vocabulary and terminology with other nations.
As far as language-teaching is concerned, the field where I am totally included in, it is one of the building stones of the global enterprise of higher educational programmes in the coming years for academic and professional training to reach a final superior quality of products.
The system is based on the so-called “Teaching Units” which the students should collect by the end of each semester. Moreover, there is a new element which is the system of “Credits” which means that if students do not get the needed credits, they may pass to the next semester with the credits got before, but they remain indebted so that they should get what lacks to gather the needed credits by the end.
There are six semesters in the first phase of this system, i.e. the “Licence” degree. In each semester, students are expected to attend 400 hours. New subject fields have been added in this system to allow students have as much choices as possible when moving to the second phase of the system (i.e. the Master Degree). Additionally, there is an interesting flexibility in the system which permits the student to move from English to French –in the time being- and vice versa. This is called the System of Transfer of Credits (STC). In other words, students can move from French to English with the credits gained when being studying French and the reverse holds true. When students reach the third year of the first phase, they are free to deal either with the academic or “proffesionalising” licence. That is, students may choose to go to work or carry on the process of learning they already started and pass to the second phase i.e. the Master degree.
The LMD system started to be applied in the flow of the present academic year (2004/2005) and not all universities agreed to start it be it a heavy responsibility on their shoulders. It is only included in such universities as Béjaia, Constantine and Mostaghanem. Therefore, this experience is a piloting phase of this system and no one can predict its outcomes at least in the next 3 to 8 years where the first group of students finishes the whole process.
This was just a case in point of the Algerian readiness to evolve and develop. Many other fields of course are subject of change in Algeria because Globalisation makes all of the governmental departments go towards one direction. This path is to apply the international norms of every field by taking care of the Algerian Foreign policy as well as her Domestic policy.
About the Author:

Nadia Idri holds a PhD and is specialized in educational psychology and ELT and doing research on affective factors, applied linguistics, learner autonomy, basic and higher education and LMD Reform. She has got a publication of a translated literary article in two web-sites and in a book published in Europe in the flow of May, 2004. Other articles are published in the ERIC database, in le Forum de l’Enseignant de l’ENS Constantine in June 2011, in the Procedia: Social and Behavioral Science, Elsevier,  the International Journal of Education and General Studies, Multilinguales, The European Procedia of Social & Behavioural Sciences. And a chapter of the book: Fear: New developments published by Nova in 2013. She participated in many international conferences in 2005 and 2011, 2012, 2013 and three others for 2014; national symposiums in 2010, 2011 and 2012, 2013, chairing and participating in a a conference in 2012 and a study day in 2014. She contributed in designing syllabi for BA students and Master students; she designed a Master syllabus called: Applied Linguistics and ELT, she is chairing actually. She is actually the chair of the scientific committee of the Department of English, She has a reviewing experience in scientific committees in many journals and national as well as international conferences (e.g. the national symposium of Bejaia, 2012, in the Education and General Studies Journal, 2012, Educational Research Journal, 2012, International Green Journals 2013, Social Sciences Directory, ICEEPSY Antalya conference 2013, C-Crcs); a member of the editing committee of Multilinguales journal and of the editorial committees of the Journal of Language Teaching and Learning. She has recently organized a an internationl conference and she is editing its volume with AWEJ. She is preparing a new journal in Sri-Lanka (editor in chief) and co-chairing the 2015 conference there.

e-mail: n_idri@yahoo.co.uk

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