Anis Hamrouni is the Director of Studies and Internships at the Institute for Higher Technological Studies (ISET) in Kairouan. Due to his personal enthusiasm and interest in the Mashrou3i project, ISET Kairouan became the first and largest academic partner to join the entrepreneurship program implemented by UNIDO and funded by USAID, the Italian Cooperation and the HP Foundation.
“My experience with Mashrou3i started in 2013 at the start of Phase I of the program. I was invited to take part in an HP LIFE e-learning workshop which inspired me to become a Master Trainer. At the workshop, I also discussed the possibility of integrating HP LIFE into universities, particularly the ISET of Kairouan with Mahmoud Chouchene, UNIDO’s HP LIFE national coordinator. HP LIFE is one of the best entrepreneurship training programs, in my opinion, and can really add value to students in terms of business and IT skills.”
“At the start of 2015, I began exploring HP LIFE e-learning with my own students. After training 10 professors at the ISET Kairouan we were able to introduce the HP LIFE program at both the bachelor and master degree levels. Students can now explore the HP LIFE online platform and professors can use HP LIFE courses such as the “Entrepreneurial Culture” course to enrich their curriculum.”
Today, a majority of students at the ISET have experienced HP LIFE e-Learning with a trained professor, and nearly 80% of them know the platform. Some even use online courses such as “My plan” in the preparation of their diploma and to finalize their business plans.
“The added value of HP LIFE e-Learning is the experiential learning. There are over 27 interactive modules covering finance, marketing, operations, communication, and also special topics such as social entrepreneurship and energy efficiency. Each course presents a brief scenario of an entrepreneur dealing with a common business challenge. Students can then explore strategies to respond and also learn technology skills to tackle their own business challenges more effectively.”
ISET Kairouan was founded in 2000 and today over 1,500 students are enrolled in courses in the university’s 4 departments: Economics and Management, IT Science, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Each department teaches a course in entrepreneurship.
“Fostering an entrepreneurial spirit among students is very important given the rise of unemployment in Tunisia. We try to raise awareness of entrepreneurship as a viable career option and encourage students to consider launching their own business as an alternative to unemployment. This is why it is so important to enhance the quality of the education students receive and equip them with business and IT skills that they can apply to their own projects.”
ISET Kairouan’s cooperation with the Mashrou3i program is an example of good practice which is now being promoted by the Ministry of Education and expanded across the country. The Mashrou3i team has already begun to train educators in universities, with the aim to integrate HP LIFE e-learning into the curricula of over 30 higher educational institutions and to reach over 5,000 students and graduates.
“As the first higher educational institution in Tunisia to use HP LIFE e-Learning to enhance its courses, ISET Kairouan is currently thinking to fully integrate the training program into its academic curricula. We remain open to share this experience and to collaborate with other academic institutions across the country.”