Algiers 1 University
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جامعة الجزائر – بن يوسف بن خـدة
The University of Algiers Benyoucef Benkhedda (Arabic:جامعة الجزائر – بن يوسف بن خـدة ), commonly called the Algiers 1 University, it is the largest, oldest and most prestigious university in Algeria. It is headquartered in Algiers, the national capital.
Emerging from a series of independent institutions in the 19th century, it was organized as a university in 1909 and profoundly reorganized in 2009.
The historical tradition of higher education in Algeria began in 1832, with the creation of the Higher School of Letters of Algiers, as a way to guarantee the teaching of Arabic and French languages, in the context of the French conquest of Algeria. In 1849 the institution opened campuses in Oran and Constantine, and was formally integrated into the regular French education system on December 20, 1879. Subsequently, the Superor School of Medicine and Pharmacy was created in 1833 (officialized on August 4, 1857); in 1868 the School of Sciences, and; in 1879 the School of Law. All were based in the city of Algiers.
In 1909 all educational institutions were turned into faculties. Soon after, in the same year, the faculties were united to form the University of Algiers.
The installation of the Free French government in Algiers, making it the capital in exile in 1942, is marked by the admission of a greater number of Muslim students, who in that year represent 11.4% of the total number of students. Algerian and French numbers would become equivalent only in 1961.
On May 19, 1956, the General Union of Algerian Muslim Students (UGEMA) called an indefinite student strike, which halted the academic courses and examinations at the University of Algiers, rallying support from the National Liberation Front.
On 7 June 1962 – just a month ahead of the Algerian independence referendum – the Organisation Armée Secrète (OAS), the movement of colonists opposing Algerian independence, set fire to the library building, destroying 500,000 books. The destruction of these books was seen as a scorched earth tactic across the Arab world. The effect on other countries in the region can be seen through commemorative stamps. Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Algeria itself introduced stamps depicting either the burning of a book, or of the library itself. It showed the savagery of the anti-independence movement would extend to removing and indeed destroying culture so long as Algeria intended to create its own national culture.
The 1971 higher education reform abolished the college system and grouped the different disciplines by affinities into departments and institutes. The reform decrees the progressive Arabization of the disciplines, starting with certain classes in the social sciences (initially, philosophy and history). On December 12, 1998, the college system was re-established.
In 2009 the university is subdivided into three new institutions. The most important, the University of Algiers Benyoucef Benkhedda (or Algiers 1 University), stands as heir to the historical-academic tradition. Meanwhile, are created:
- Abou El Kacem Saadallah University (Algiers 2 University);
- Brahim Soltane Chaibout University (Algiers 3 University).
In 2015, due to the state of degradation of the university's buildings, professors, students and supporters demanded that the university be classified as a national historical-architectural heritage. The Ministry of Culture responded to the claims in July 2015.
The library holds 800,000 volumes.
- Albert Camus (1913–1960), writer and the awardee of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.
- Lakhdar Brahimi (1934), UN diplomat and Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Elias Zerhouni, Algerian-born American physician scientist radiologist and biomedical engineer.
- Saddek Rabah, University Professor and academic researcher.
- Youcef Saad, mathematician.
- Fadéla M'rabet writer and feminist.
- "University of Algiers/Benyoucef Benkhedda". enstructive.com. Archived from the original on 2 May 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- "University of Algiers – Benyoucef Benkhedda". africanseer.com. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- "University of Algiers". mediahex.com. Archived from the original on 13 September 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- The University of Algiers: Historical Survey. Africa 2 Trust. Access-date: 12 July 2021.
- n incendie criminel ravage l’universite, plusieurs autres batiments publics sont de ́truit’, LeMonde(9 June 1962)
- Fleury, Georges. The Secret History of the Organisation De l'Armée Secrète Grasset, 2002.
- "Appel d'universitaires et d'intellectuels à faire de la Fac centrale un monument historique". Reporters. 12 June 2015.
- "L'appel des universitaires a été entendu: la Fac centrale d'Alger classée monument historique". Huffington Post. 3 July 2015.
- "Libraries and museums – Algeria". Encyclopedia of the Nations. 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- University of Algiers Website (in Arabic, English, and French)
- Faculty of Islamic Sciences (in Arabic)