University of Ez-Zitouna
|Established||737 (120 A.H)|
|Vice-Chancellor||Salem Bouyahia (President)|
Ez-Zitouna University (Tunisian Arabic: جامعة الزيتونة, French: Université Zitouna) is located in Montfleury, Tunis. It is claimed to be the oldest teaching establishment in the Arab world, since the Ez-Zitouna madrassa was founded in 737 C.E. (120 A.H) as the teaching arm of the Olive-Tree Mosque (Djemaa ez-Zitouna) and has been in continuous existence since then.]]
Famous alumni include the scholar Abdul-Rahman Ibn Khaldun, the encyclopedaist Ahmad Ibn Youssef Ibn Ahmad Ibn Abubaker Tifashi, the trade unionist and writer Tahar Haddad, the politician and writer Abdelaziz Thâalbi, the Tunisian national poet Aboul-Qacem Echebbi, and the judge and scholar M.T Ben Achour.
Following Tunisia's Independence, the modern Zitouna University was established on April 26, 1956. This was succeeded by the Zitouna Faculty of Shari’a and Theology on March 1, 1961 which became one of the components of Tunisian University. The Zitouna name was restored by Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 1987, after having been changed under Bourguiba.
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Historically the traditional pedagogy of the university opposed French influence in Tunisian culture, even though younger people who studied there and who were unable to attend other universities lost the concept of the university having prestige. The students, faculty, and alumni became an integral part of the 1920s Destour party.
The present-day institution has some 1200 students and 90 faculty, divided between two associated institutes—the Higher Institute of Theology and the Higher Institute of Islamic Civilisation in Tunis—and a research institution, the Center of Islamic Studies (مركز الدراسات الإسلامية بالقيروان) in Kairouan.
Lessons in the Higher Institute of Theology began in the academic year 1988/89. It awards:
- Bachelor's degree in Shari'a and Islamic thought in Islamic Sciences
- Master in Islamic Sciences
- Ph.D. in Islamic Sciences
- Superior Technician in Applied Multimedia on Islamic Arts
- Superior Technician in Arts of Islamic Heritage
The Higher Institute of Islamic Civilisation has some 300 students and 40 researchers. It awards
- National diploma of the first cycle in Islamic studies (D.E.U.P.C)
- National diploma of Masters in the Islamic studies
- Islamic studies and Islamic civilization
- Islamic law
- Micaud, Charles A. "Bilingualism in North Africa: Cultural and Sociopolitical Implications." The Western Political Quarterly. March 1974. Volume 27, Issue 1. p. 92-103. Available on Jstor
- Paul Delaney, "New Tunis Chief Begins Democratic Changes," New York Times, December 13, 1987.
- Micaud 93.
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