The momentum of educational co-operation and academic exchange between the University of Malta and Tunisia’s University of La Manouba has picked up over the past year, with a programme of events having taken place between November last year and April of this year, and more collaborations in the pipeline for the forthcoming academic year 2023/24.
Signed in July last year, the agreement between the Mediterranean Institute of the University of Malta and the Faculty of Arts, Letters and Humanities at La Manouba is also being made possible thanks to an Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility awarded grant that continues to translate into effective academic and postgraduate research exchange between the two institutions.
In November/December last year, Prof. Alfonso Campisi and Prof. Vincenzo Consolo Chair in Sicilian Studies at La Manouba, visited the University of Malta and delivered various presentations and seminars as well as participating in television programme Maltarti, aired on Malta’s national broadcaster, together with Institute Director Prof. Norbert Bugeja, as well as holding various meetings on future collaborations with the Mediterranean Institute.
Prof. Bugeja also visited the Faculty of Arts, Letters and Humanities at La Manouba earlier this year, where he delivered a seminar presentation on his work and on contemporary poetry in the Mediterranean context, a reading and an interview to students and the public, and participated on the Scientific Committee of La Manouba’s IXth International Conference on Mediterranean Studies organised by the Faculty and co-ordinated by Prof. Alfonso Campisi and Prof. Meriem Dhouib. Prof. Bugeja also spoke to Tunisia’s La Presse on poetry and Mediterranean literature, with subsequent coverage appearing in Tunisia’s national newspaper, and held various meetings on the next stages of the Malta-Manouba co-operation agreement.
The coming academic year promises an exciting line-up on the mobility programme between the two institutions, which includes seminars, lectures and meetings by the Mediterranean Institute at La Manouba, and another seminar and lecturing visit scheduled for a senior Manouba academic later in the academic year.
The agreement between the University of Malta and the University of La Manouba marks a historic first in formal co-operation between the two entities, as well as placing the University of Malta as an important stakeholder on the European agenda of active academic, educational, cultural and research-led relations with North Africa. With a student population counting over 30,000, the University of La Manouba is one of the largest and most prestigious higher-education institutions in the Arab world and a major educational actor in Tunisia.
The Mediterranean Institute would like to thank the International Office at the University of Malta, the Embassy of Malta in Tunis, La Presse de Tunisié, cultural journalists Kamel Hleli and Emna Louzyr, author, editor and cultural co-ordinator Moëz Majed, TVM programme Maltarti and the various academics and postgraduate students at both institutions for their contribution in making the Malta-Manouba collaboration a successful venture.