“A new approach is required to turn the mobility of Tunisian talents into an opportunity,” Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Slim Khalbous Thursday told participants in the 27th edition of the Annual Forum of the Network of Tunisian Students and Graduates of top French Engineering and Business Schools (French: ATUGE).
The event was held in Tunis on the theme: “Mobility of Talents: Opportunities and Challenges for Tunisians.”
Rolling out a strategy intended to capitalise on Tunisians’ mobility, the Minister said there are three major thrusts, namely specialisation, a mobility policy and international networking.
This is a complex and multifaceted issue, Khalbous said. The sociological, scientific and economic aspects need to be taken into cosideration.
The number of highly-qualified Tunisian expats stands at 8,200, including 2,300 teacher-researchers and as many engineers, 1,000 physicians and pharmacists and 450 non-IT engineers, the Minister said. 10% of the total number are women.
With regard to the mobility of Tunisians as part of technical cooperation, Khalbous said 70% of the former opted for migration to Arab countries.
Student mobility figures almost trebled from 2015 to 2017, rising from 640 students to 1,780/year. The number of full-study scholarships grew to 2,330, while that of short-term scholarships (3 to 6 months) stood at 1,500.
European Union (EU) Ambassador to Tunisia Patrice Bergamini said mobility between 2013 and 2020 edged up 50%. Mobility is a natural phenomenon with 60% of talents eying career mobility.
Bergamini also said he fully supports mobility for “open borders mean open minds” and called for ” maximising one’s talents for the needs of others.”
ATUGE Forum annually attracts over 2,000 visitors and 25 enterprises; half of visitors are young graduates seeking career opportunities. It essentially featured a meeting on ” How to Make Tunisia more Attractive for its Talents?.”
Topping the agenda were also four round-table meetings on issues relating to mobility in such sectors as health, higher education and scientific research, international mobility and mobility in digital positions.