Workgroups & Activities

An optimised organisation

5 groups gathered around 10 activities

The 5 workgroups created for the project are:

  1. Developing a network of partner companies
  2. Developing job-oriented studies
  3. Retraining PhDs in coherence with the labour market
  4. Providing support to enterprises
  5. Valorising research results


This activity consists in the creation of the following functional structures:

  • Project Steering Committee: responsible for the overall, policy and financial management
  • Scientific and Pedagogical Committee: in charge of scientific and educational guidance
  • Group of the University Coordinators: ensuring in each university the coordination of activities
  • Workgroup "Developing a Network of Partner Enterprises"
  • Workgroup "Developing Job-oriented Studies"
  • Workgroup "Retraining PhDs in coherence with the labour market"
  • Workgroup "Providing Support to Enterprises"
  • Workgroup "Valorising Research Results"

The preliminary activities consist in the organisation of meetings - kick-off meeting, coordination meeting with the coordinators of each university, publication of a website for the project…

Contact list of Tunisian university coordinators:

University of Carthage
Prof. Zohra Lili Chabaane

University of Gabès
Prof. Lazhar Zourgui, ISBAM

University of Jendouba
Prof. Abdelaziz Souli, ISBB

Manouba University
Prof. Khaoula Belguith, ISBST

University of Monastir
Prof. Jawhar Gharbi, ISBM

University of Sfax
Prof. Radhouane Gdoura, FSS


- Kick-off meeting of the project: introduction of the project, programming of activities and setting-up of working groups (10-14 December 2012, Sfax)

- Seminar-Training of Tunisian coordinators and project leaders (3-9 February 2013, Rennes)

- Design of the project website and collaborative platform

- Provision of Tunisian universities with IT and audio-visual equipment (May 2013)

- Regular meetings of the steering and scientific committees

- Setting-up of Offices of Corporate Partnerships in the universities of Manouba, Carthage, Sfax, Jendouba and Gabes (from September until December 2013)

The aim is to set up a network of industrial and professional partners willing to implement a sustainable cooperation with universities on various aspects: hosting students for their internships, giving lectures or presentations in universities, taking part in the career fairs organized by the universities…

For the universities: analysing the needs of enterprises for continuing education, offering support to companies for R&D issues, technological transfer…

A group of teachers will be in charge of carrying out a survey to collect the needs of enterprises on continuing education and university support. They will also ask the enterprises about the possible cooperation activities they are willing to develop with the universities.

The relations with the companies will be regularly maintained by the university representatives of each geographical region.

Career and recruitment fairs will be organized locally to foster meetings between students and companies.

A database on professions will be produced and at the students’ disposal to present the duties, tasks and skills required for each profession.

A directory of companies will be published online referencing the companies of the field of life sciences and technologies in Tunisia.

Outputs :

- Surveys carried out towards 60 companies (March - May 2013). See the survey results on the collaborative platform

- Workshop with companies (24 September 2013): agreement on cooperation activities, identification of companies' needs

- Setting-up, in each Tunisian university, of Offices of Corporate Partnerships - composed of university, industrial representatives and support and sponsoring organisatons - and of services helping students entering the job market (from September until December 2013)

Offices of Corporate Partnerships 
They gather university staff, industry members and back-up organisations, in order to:

  1. develop relations between higher education and research institutions and the industry environment to assess its needs and potential participation to study programmes and educational activities
  2. build the capacity of universities to propose activities and services fostering integration of students into the world of work
  3. test out and implement, with support of the Ministries and companies, a method to retrain unemployed PhDs and adapt their skills to the labour market
  4. provide support and services to the industry: knowledge transfer, transfer of R&D technologies 
  5. organise joint activities with companies
  6. promote transfer of technological innovations in cooperation with local science and technology parks, business incubators and offices of technology transfer

- Organisation of career and recruitment fairs in universities (as from 2013)

- Compilation of a directory referencing companies by industry sector - food, pharmaceutical, environment industry - and by region

- Signing of cooperation agreements between universities and business organisations / companies (May - December 2014) - More details on the collaborative platform

The aim of this activity is to increase the graduates’ employment rate and professional profile of thestudents preparing them to be fully operational for a job. With support of the network of partner enterprises,activities connected to companies will be developed in the Masters programmes: business presentations and lectures, work placements / internships

A monitoring of the career and employment situation of graduates will be implemented 


- Inventory and assessment of the existing training modules and career development activities in the 6 Tunisian universities and comparison with the results of the company surveys

- Entrepreneurship training for students. A first training was carried out by an expert of the Entrepreneurship Institute of the Francophone University Agency (AUF) at Carthage University and Sfax University (February 2013)

- Development and integration of new modules in Bachelors and Masters' programmes - e.g. trainings on innovative entrepreneurship, quality and risk management

- Internships in companies:

  • Editing of a model agreement and a charter regulating the student internships in enterprises
  • Tutor training and preparation of students to internships
  • Pilot internships: each internship focuses on a specific issue and is supervised by a staff member of the enterprise and a university teacher (as from summer 2013)
  • Implementation of the new internship procedures in universities

The aim of the consortium is to reduce the unemployment rate of graduates with high skills in life sciences and technologies.
For this purpose:

  • an analysis of the PhD system will be carried out to point out the elements to be changed to increase the employment rate of PhDs, e.g. number of PhD students, thesis subject, co-construction of PhDs with companies…
  • a method for retraining unemployed PhDs combining internships in companies and complementary training will be experimented


- Revising doctoral studies

  • Analysis of the doctoral situation in Tunisia; proposition of recommendations by the workgroup. Conclusions are to be found on the collaborative platform

- Retraining programme for unemployed PhDs

  • Development of the programme in cooperation with industrial partners
  • Call for applications: 68 applications received; 21 PhDs selected
  • Phase 1: complementary training - 12 modules - applied to industry or entrepreneurship
  • Phase 2: building of a career project for each of the 21 PhDs: accompanying the setting-up of a company or the carrying-out of a research and development project in a company

This activity aims at answering the needs of companies regarding knowledge transfer.

After the needs of companies are identified, Tunisian universities will propose tailor-made supports and services to companies: short specialized training sessions, e-learning and specific supports like technical advice, technological development…


- Proposition - by Offices of Corporate Partnerships - of tailor-made trainings and services to companies. Visit the collaborative platform for more information about the continuing education modules proposed

This activity aims at supporting research-lecturers transferring research results to the industry.

An office “Research & Valorisation” will be created in universities to identify the contributions that can be of interest for the industry and to assist the researchers in their activities of technology transfer.


- Organisation of seminars for the dissemination of research results towards industries. Visit the collaborative platform for more details on the research valorisation seminars organised

- Building-up of a database on research laboratories, their expertise and equipments

- Construction in parallel of a portal referencing companies by industry sector - food, pharmaceutical, environment - and by region
These databases will be published on a "matchmaking" platform companies-research - under construction (database of research units, their expertise and equipment & database of companies and their fields of activity)

- Production of a directory of professions at the students’ disposal to present the duties, tasks and skills required for each profession

It aims at ensuring the smooth running of the project’s activities. It consists in analysing regularly the results and enforcing readjustment methods when necessary.


- The project activities are assessed through an internal quality control by the Tunisian university councils, the project steering committee and the scientific and pedagogical committee.

- The beneficiaries  - students, teachers and industrial partners - assess the activities that are being experimented in the framework of the project

- External experts evaluate also the project’s results

- The assessment results are presented to the University and Ministry authorities to ensure the sustainability of the activities.

The aim is to inform the target groups as well as the general public about the activities carried out, the results and future activities of the project.


- Information meetings for the students on the project activities and objectives (beginning 2013)

- Presentation of the project in a radio broadcast in Sfax (May 2013)

- Presentation of the project activities at the international fair in Sfax (July 2013)

- Presentation of the project at the enterprise show in Sfax (November 2013)

- Presentation by PhD graduates of the retraining programme of their R&D and business creation projects to the support and sponsoring organisations (January 2015)

- Presentation of the project and exchange of good practices to universities of Brittany (January 2015)

- Workshop organised at Fes to disseminate the project results to Moroccan universities (May 2015)

- Meeting at Sfax University with Mrs Flora Dubosc, expert at the European Commission for higher education cooperation projects: dissemination of the project results, especially the retraining pilot programme for PhD graduates in life sciences and the programme for the revision of doctoral studies (WP4) (November 2015)

The aim is to ensure the activities’ sustainability.


- A prospective Commission is in charge of making proposals to ensure the long term implementation of the successful activities – amended or not – that have been tested during the project.

- These proposals are submitted to the university councils and to the Ministry of Higher Education.

- A national seminar will be organised to exchange about the good practices of university-enterprises partnerships and educational activities fostering the employment of graduates of life science and technology on the labour market.

Each partner institution named a coordinator in charge of the activities in his/her university.

The educational and scientific management of the project is being ensured by the Scientific and Pedagogical Committee.

The Project Steering Committee supervises the overall project, including the financial decisions.