Professors, doctors and researchers from numerous Algerian universities protested outside the headquarters of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Algiers yesterday to condemn the recent decision to freeze grants related to scientific research and academic visits abroad.
A petition has also been signed by more than 100 researchers appealing to the Minister for Higher Education, Tahir Hajjar, to urgently intervene to prevent a significant delay in the grant of a national exchange programme for 2017/2018.
Many tried to contact officials from the Ministry of Higher Education to learn the fate of the national programme and the coming academic year but no explanations were given.
A number of researchers told Algerian news site Echourouk that the vigil was an inevitable result of the decisions taken by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research concerning the freezing of grants and travel exchange programmes that qualify them to gain new experiences for their research within the latest global study trends.
According to Echourouk, ministry officials were “surprised” at the meeting of student representatives arguing that the ministry had allocated a “safe” scientific research budget.
However protestors have questioned the fate of those funds and financial wrappers allocated to them, asking the minister to open an investigation into the allocation of the funds.
Algeria has seen uproar in the last few months amongst its students and professors demanding a more transparent education system with better opportunities for its students and greater funding and schemes for its researchers and academics.