In Spring 2020, the French consortium of 4 organisations: CTI, France éducation international (FEi), the Haut conseil d’évaluation de la recherche et de l’enseignement supérieur (Hcéres) and consultancy company SOFRECO won a tender by the European Commission with the aim to support the founding of a new quality assurance agency in the area of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Tunisia. The two existing agencies (CNEARS et IEAQA) were due to merge into the new agency.
The expected results of the project are organised in five components:
1: Entity configured to be autonomous, sustainable and compliant with international standards.
2: Methodology and criteria & guidelines set up in compliance with international standards, including the setting up of working tools.
3: Quality realisation according to international standards and covering all needs.
4: Efficient internal organisation according to international standards.
5: Increased visibility and local and international positioning of the agency.
The kick-off of the project that was scheduled in spring 2020 was delayed due to the sanitary crisis and most activities were impacted. Planned travels had to be replaced by online meetings and workshops. Despite these difficulties, the national authorities, the EU delegation in Tunisia and the consortium members and experts managed to work together and to progress. At the end of the first year of co-operation, a comprehensive project of the future agency as well as the draft decree establishing the agency have been successfully worked out.
The work continued in 2021 and 2022, culminating in the publication of the decree creating ATEA, the Tunisian Evaluation and Accreditation Agency for Higher Education and Scientific Research, and the drafting of a five-year action plan for the organisation and operation of the agency.
The project ended with a seminar in Tunis on 6th September 2022, attended by the Tunisian authorities, the EU delegation, the project’s French partners and all Tunisian stakeholders.
Didier Erasme, CTI Board member and Maghreb referent, represented the CTI at the event.