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Algiers 1 University

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University of Algiers
جامعة الجزائر – بن يوسف بن خـدة
Latin: Universitas Academica Algierensis
Former names
Higher School of Letters of Algiers
Superior School of Medicine and Pharmacy
School of Sciences of Algiers
School of Law of Algiers
MottoIntegritas, Scientia, Vis (Latin)
Motto in English
Integrity, Knowledge, Strength
TypePublic research university
Established1909; 115 years ago (1909)
PresidentAli Abubaha
RectorFares Mokhtari
CampusUrban, suburban
AffiliationsAssociation of African Universities
Association of Arab Universities
Mediterranean Universities Union

The University of Algiers (Arabic: جامعة الجزائر), commonly called the Algiers 1 University or Benyoucef Benkhedda (Arabic: بن يوسف بن خـدة), is a public research university based in Algiers, Algeria. Founded in 1909 from the amalgamation of different institutions, it has become the oldest and most prestigious organised university in the country.[1][2][3]


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 20 December 1879. Subsequently, the Superior School of Medicine and Pharmacy was created in 1833 (officialized on 4 August 1857); in 1868 the School of Sciences, and; in 1879 the School of Law. All were based in the city of Algiers.[4]

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.[4]

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.[citation needed]

On 19 May 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.[citation needed]

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.[5] The destruction of these books and the library was reported in the Arab world as a tactic of war or dirty war, known as scorched earth. Egypt, Iraq and Jordan condemned the arson and issued repudiation notes. 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.[6]

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 12 December 1998, the college system was re-established.[4]

In 2009 the university was 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. The other two institutions created were:[4]

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.[7][8]


The library holds 800,000 volumes.[9]

Notable faculty

Notable alumni

Arts and Science

Jean Baptiste Paulin Trolard

Politics and Diplomacy

See also


  1. ^ "University of Algiers/Benyoucef Benkhedda". Archived from the original on 2 May 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  2. ^ "University of Algiers – Benyoucef Benkhedda". Archived from the original on 7 January 2021. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  3. ^ "University of Algiers". Archived from the original on 13 September 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d The University of Algiers: Historical Survey. Africa 2 Trust. Access-date: 12 July 2021.
  5. ^ n incendie criminel ravage l’universite, plusieurs autres batiments publics sont de ́truit’, LeMonde(9 June 1962)
  6. ^ Fleury, Georges. The Secret History of the Organisation De l'Armée Secrète Grasset, 2002.
  7. ^ "Appel d'universitaires et d'intellectuels à faire de la Fac centrale un monument historique". Reporters. 12 June 2015. Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  8. ^ "L'appel des universitaires a été entendu: la Fac centrale d'Alger classée monument historique". Huffington Post. 3 July 2015. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Libraries and museums – Algeria". Encyclopedia of the Nations. 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015.

36°46′15″N 3°03′20″E / 36.77083°N 3.05556°E / 36.77083; 3.05556

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Algiers 1 University
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