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L’enseignement supérieur dans la mondialisation libérale

Sylvie Mazzella



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Higher Education in the Liberal Globalization Era. A Comparison of the Maghreb, Africa, Canada, and France

1Sylvie Mazzella – A “state liberalization” of higher education ? International mutations and evolutions in the Maghreb. An introduction.

2It is in a globalized context of reforms of higher education that we propose, in this theme issue, a reflection on the relationship between the “state liberalization” of higher education and the question of the changing conditions in which the power of the state is exerted. This questioning takes a specific turn in the Maghreb, where, according to a developmentalist and egalitarian view, the education system has for a long time been considered as a strong symbolic instrument of the nation’s building. A North-South comparison also allows to emphasize why the competition in higher education and the implementation of new instruments of management are likely to modify the mobility of students, notably those from the Maghreb. Finally it underlines the formation of new spaces wherein the value of higher education is enhanced, between the North and the South as well as among countries of the South.

1. Reforms and Market of Education Service: Towards What Types of State Management?

3Nico Hirtt – Global university, market university. What are the ongoing evolutions?

4The recent mutations in the field of education, in general, and of higher education, in particular, show converging axes found throughout the world: autonomy of the institutions, deregulation and disengagement of the state, privatization, competition, focus on the expectations of the economic world, decline of “massification”, etc. These profound and worldwide changes stem from the nature of the social and economic upheavals which accompany “globalization”. While urgent social, economic, ecological, and political issues require a critical and long term view, cultural diversity is threatened, and scientific activity and education risk being laid down for short term profitability.

5Florian Kohstall – University reforms in a time of “internationalization” . A look at Egypt and Morocco.

6The creation of private universities and of foreign private universities has profoundly transformed the sector of higher education. This transformation occurs while a global reform of the public universities, with their two millions students, is being undertaken. The Higher Education Enhancement Program, prepared in collaboration with the WorldBank, aims to remedy the crisis this sector is facing. Apart from mediocre results it introduces new instruments such as the “reform by tender” and the participation of stakeholders in the political process. In Morocco, the introduction of the Lmd system (Licence, Master, Doctorat), in 2003, is the first step in a reform thought up at the end of the 1990s. The country is attracted by the successful reforms conducted in Europe. However one may wonder if these reforms, influenced by international cooperation, can modernize the university.

7Mustapha Haddab – Morphological and institutional evolution of higher education in Algeria. Its effects on the quality of education and on students strategies.

8The social pressure exerted on higher education in Algeria strongly complicates the problems raised by its management. Considered from the angle of the acuteness of the pedagogical, linguistic, administrative, and even political problems, the implementation of the Lmd system apparently involves the risk of provoking a too rapid destabilization of the rules and rhythms of the functioning of the university institutions, and, undoubtedly, of weakening even more the pedagogical quality and effectiveness of education.

9François Castaing – The weight of competition among French universities: interests and limits of an approach in terms of “merchandization”.

10Does the competitive dynamics induced by the conception and implementation of the Lmd system in France lead to a reconfiguration of the forms and modes of reception of foreign students in France, notably from regions outside the European Union? Does the logic of “comparative advantages” thus introduced penalize or, on the contrary, favour not only the mobility of foreign students from the Maghreb, but also the consolidation of university centers in the Maghreb? Are the possible contradictions deriving from the cohabitation of a logic of public service and a logic of merchandization of higher education surmountable, and in what way? This article deals with the assessment of the Lmd system’s implementation from the point of view of the reconfiguration of the public service in higher education; of the assessment of the reception of foreign students in France; and from the point of view of the recomposition of the actions of the French state in the promotion of the universities (Édufrance, Cef, now Campus France).

11André Nyamba – The Lmd in African universities south of the Sahara. New actors and new relationships to knowledge.

12African universities south of the Sahara wish to adjust to the Bologna Process in order to take an active part in the management of the liberal market of the globalized economy. The support given to the Lmd system raises new organizational problems in addition to the current structural obstacles, including the inability of the curricula to adjust to the productive world. The author observes that the worldwide reform of higher education is a challenge we ought to take up, with new relationships to knowledge, and a new actor, namely the private sector.

13Sophie Levandowski – The state, “manager” of education? Diversification and privatization of educational offer in Burkina Faso.

14Since the fall of the Sankarist Revolution at the end of the 1980s, the government of Burkina Faso adheres to the liberal policies imposed by certain international organizations present in the country. In the domain of education, notably, most of the financial backers and the state’s efforts focus on primary education: secondary and higher education are more under the influence of the private sector. Yet even in primary education the state plays an ambiguous role. The so-called “get-it-done” strategy is supposed to position it as a coordinator of the educational actions which are more and more realized by enterprises and Ngos. This policy is officially aimed at democratizing education through the diversification of the educational offer and of the actors involved. In reality it places the state in a position of “manager” who is not always able to work in favor of popular classes. The new educational policies of Burkina Faso are thus submitted to strategies of the international policies, on the one hand, and to those of the enterprises and of the actors of the third sector, on the other. This situation now clearly raises the issue of the state’s transformation in Africa.

2. Student Mobilities. Reception Policies, Strategies, and Graduates’ Expectations

15Jean Bernatchez – Priorities of the public policies of higher education in Quebec and the issue of the reception of international students.

16The article presents the organization of Quebec’s higher education system and analyzes the five major priorities of the public policies of higher education observed in the province since 1960: accessibility, imputability, professionalization of education, instrumentalization of research, and internationalization of universitis. The latter priority clarifies the logic associated with the reception of international students, particularly those originating from the Maghreb.

17Maïten Bel – The reception of international students in France: an outlook.

18The reception of foreign students in France must be analyzed from the viewpoint of the major tendencies affecting higher education at the national and international levels. In a context of a globalized economy and of an emerging “knowledge society”, the national systems of higher education tend to compete with each other. In Europe, these major tendencies have taken the shape of a globalized structuration of education through the implementation of the Lmd system. These tendencies are also manifest in the resurgence of the strains which, since thirty years, characterize the reception of students from the Maghreb in France. These strains bring into conflict the will to reduce immigration, the necessity of meeting the quotas of students in certain branches of learning, the wish to extend France’s influence, and the objective of welcoming outstanding students only.

19Stéphanie Garneau – Unequal access to the international space of higher education and to job markets.

20In the past twenty years, Western governments have been setting up a series of initiatives aimed at internationalizing postsecondary education and institutionalizing student mobility abroad. Based on a comparative research project between France and Quebec, this article focuses on the diverse modes of appropriation of these phenomena by institutional and student actors. The article first shows that if, through these processes, governments and university managers impose market dynamics on postsecondary education, students adhere in a differentiated manner to this economicist discourse. It then explains how students’ actions and modes of public intervention combine to generate an inequality of access to foreign universities based on students’ initial positions before entering the internationalized space of education, on their institutional affiliations and on their fields of study.

21Abdelwahab Hafaiedh – The international mobility of Tunisian students. Government assistance and institutional mobility.

22This article deals with the evolution of Tunisian students’ “institutional mobility”, in the framework of a cooperation program with partners of Tunisia or in the framework of a national program of scholarships. This mobility is characterized at once by its new modes of integration on the international market of higher education and by new modes of cooperation which, more and more, govern the flow of international mobility, especially with the Maghreb and the Arab world. The article particularly analyzes the effects of a worldwide event such as 9/11 on the transformations which have occurred in government assistance for cooperation.

23Fathi Rekik – Towards what kind of entrepreneur culture is the Tunisian university heading? The employability of graduates in the humanities.

24Based on an empirical study conducted in Tunisia, the article analyzes the social aspirations of students in the humanities as well as their job opportunities as independent workers, in a generalized context where the demand for graduates has declined and job flexibility increased. However, it is asked, how is it possible, in an era of globalization, to be an independent entrepreneur all the while remaining dependent upon the incentives and support of a still omnipresent state?

25Montserrat Emperador-Badimon – Unemployed graduates in Morocco: experiences of protest.

26Since the end of the 1990s, unemployed graduates have gathered into protest groups in order to claim their integration into the Moroccan public service. The author analyzes the formation and stakes of the collective denunciation of unemployment. Two dimensions of the unemployed graduates’ protest space are especially analyzed: life trajectories and the systems of official recognition of public claims.

27Kmar Bendana – The French language in the Tunisia public education. Between colonial heritage and a globalized “knowledge economy”. An interview with Kmar Bendana.

28The leitmotiv of modernization, still present in the current discourse of the actors of the university reforms, has taken various forms. It has been shaped, alternately, with and against the use of French in the public education. The econo-political stakes of the French language in the Tunisian education system are now reactivated by the importance given to foreign languages in a context of globalized reforms of education. This interview recounts the various aspects of the evolution of the French language in the Tunisian public education since the end of the protectorate: the colonial heritage of French education, the bilinguism of the Bourguiba era, the arabization, and the transformations related to the globalization of knowledge.


29Sylviane Leprun – Towards an ecology of the patrimonial mimèsis. A necessary glance at African Saharan aesthetics.

30This article, which deals with the patrimonial issue, proposes to move from a classic macro-patrimonial analysis (monuments, sites, landscapes) to a micropatrimonial analysis, which integrates objects or “fictions” which until now hardly drew the attention of specialists and historians. This is a patrimonial requalification which shows that we are faced with a neo-mythography of the urban space. Former and recent perspectives combine into a synthesis (i.e. an amalgam and solidarities) among all the determinations which are the basis of patrimonies and which lead to the problem of their clarity and preservation (where anthropology meets the universal morality).

31Jacques Commaille – Law between “de-traditionalization”, neo-liberalization, and democratization. Towards a theory of the political sociology of law.

32Observing that law, compared with politics, plays an increasing role, as the international literature on the phenomenon of “judiciarisation – judicialization” testifies, Jacques Commaille suggests building a theory of the political sociology of law. He considers a general context of de-traditionalization, which would favor the development of two conflicting logics which both contribute to define the political function of the law: a logic of neo-liberalization according to which law, in the framework of globalization, gives more importance to the interests of the market economy, and a logic of democratization according to which law constitutes an arena used by social movements in the framework of collective mobilization. Law thus appears more than ever closely linked to politics. It forms a system with the latter all the while being an important sign of its transformation and of the uncertainty of its future.


33Nejmeddine Hentati – The habus of dhimmî-s in the Medieval Muslim West.

34According to al-Chafi’i and some maliki jurists, there were no habus before Islam. This is questionable since some ancient peoples knew this institution, namely the Chinese, Egyptians, as well as the Jews and Christians. With this study, the author aims to answer some questions regarding the categories of the habus of dhimmî-s in the Medieval Muslim West, their origins and their evolution.

35Mehdi Jerad – Marriages among Makhzen notables in Tunisia in the modern era.

36The study of the marriages among fourteen families who had served the beylical state, between the 14th and 19th centuries, reveals various family and social rationalities. The author seeks to know to what extent these marriages were an indication of their belonging to the Makhzen sphere, allowing to define social and political elites. He assesses the place of endogamous marriages among members of the Makhzen in order to see what strategies lay behind them. He also wonders about polygamy as a factor of upward social mobility or as a family obligation. Finally he endeavors to know if these alliances, notably through marriages with odalisques, are part of the external signs of the notability and of the wealth of Makhzen families.

37Morgan Corriou – Exotic cinema and censorship in Tunisia during the Protectorate.

38Intended for a Western audience, exotic cinema has been exported in the French colonial empire through an haphazard distribution entirely depending upon Metropolitan France. This led the Résident général of France in Tunis to observe that exotic cinema and, particularly, colonial cinema were not at all produced for the colonized countries. These films were among the main targets of a censorship established during the 1920s. One could say that this was in vain since it seems that the Tunisian audience had other interests, to wit mostly the News.

39Lamia Zaki – After the shantytown. Rehoused people in Lahjajma (Casablanca). Between denial and nostalgy.

40Despite the relatively priviledged conditions of their displacement, the evacuation of about a hundred households from the Lahjajma shantytown in Casablanca was a heartbreaking experience and their rehousing in a new neighborhood a painful rebirth. By emphasizing the expressions of a retrospective attachment for the shantytown, one is not downplaying the satisfaction or relief of those who now own a legitimate and acknowledged property, but one is rather showing that the sense of belonging to a disqualified territory is not necessarily lived in a passive way and as a suffering event. The analysis of the acculturation process experienced by the respondents in their new environment also allows us to grasp the new resources and the new constraints related to their status of legitimate owner, which entail the realignment of the affiliations and oppositions within the group of rehoused people.

41Mohammed Hachemaoui – The quest for the political representation of a “local notable”.

42This article is a micro-sociological analysis of an election campaign followed by an independent candidate to the Algerian legislative elections of June 2002, in the Adrar constituency. The comprehensive interpretation brings out the role of the candidate’s notable status, which is construed in relation with the cultural institutions of the ksur (zawiya, dhifa). The election, not once but twice, of a “local notable” in the second House of the Parliament is the expression, at the election level, of the emergence of a new actor profile in search of political institutionalization, namely the the agent of client mediation.

43Anne-Claire Kurzac-Souali – Economic adaptation and cultural revival in the Moroccan medinas.

44Moroccan medinas are not museum-spaces. Neither are they urban spaces in the process of being abandoned or undergoing an ineluctable impoverishment as we had imagined yet two decades ago. These ancient urban fabrics are, first of all, social, residential, and economic spaces which adapt to changes. Most of them being part of the World Heritage (Marrakesh, Essawira, Fes) and developed by tourism, medinas are perceived and imagined in a different way and their image is being improved within the contemporary Moroccan town. The process of requalification under way favors an economic adaptation and a new cultural revival of the ancient centers which testify to their vitality and to the commitment of new actors who consider them once again as part of the urban landscape and economic scene of Moroccan towns.

45Neila Akrimi –The “5+5” Dialogue: a “suggestion box” to relaunch the Barcelona Process in the Western Mediterranean?

46The aim of this study is to give a concrete content to the idea of a “reinforced association” between the countries of the North and of the South of the Mediterranean by resolutely locating our propositions in the context of the “5+5”. It is an informal structure which allows for a free reflection adapted to the geographic specificity of this sub-region. “5+5” is thus a very appropriate arena for carrying out precise and targeted actions of cooperation; in other words, to bring a “reinforced association” to a successful conclusion. This article identifies the arguments in favor of this scenario and gives an outline of their implementation.

© Institut de recherche sur le Maghreb contemporain, 2007

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