Academic Freedom in Algeria

New in the AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom: “Academic Freedom in Principle and Practice: The Case of Algeria.” Malika Rebai Maamri describes a great effort by Algeria’s president to improve the quality and availability of higher education. But despite many new institutions, articulation of democratic ideals, and resources to support higher education, things have gone awry. Institutions of higher education are routinely run by petty dictators who hire their own relatives, divert resources to their own pockets, and vigorously suppress all dissent. “Scholars are relentlessly harassed, intimidated, and unfairly graded because they do not comply with the whims of the hierarchy,: the author writes, “and students are kept submerged in a situation in which they have become passive receptacles.” Those who disagree with administrators or complain are subject to harrassment campaigns: “This surveillance also involves following the targets everywhere they go, listening to their conversation, eavesdropping on seminars, writing petitions (whose content is dictated by the boss) on the teachers or others, recording their lectures without permission, monitoring the targets’ phones and hacking their e-mails.”

Read the whole article.

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