Founded in 1983 with 205 students, the Universite Abderrahmane Mira or University of Béjaïa, claims to be among the fastest-growing universities in the world. While it took this Algerian institution until 1992 to attain the status of a university centre, and 1998 before becoming a university, within less than 30 years it has more than 40,000 students.
Named after a native of the Béjaïa province who died in 1959 as one of the heroes of Algeria’s war of independence.
The university teaches in French, Arabic and Tamazaght (also sometimes called Berber) reflecting Algeria’s wider language mix. It has offered Tamazaght courses since 1991 and its students have been among the most committed campaigners for language rights.
Based in the Mediterranean seaport city whose wax industry and Francophone nickname – bougie – gave rise to the French word for candle, the university is based on two campuses, which between them have more than 30 research laboratories.
The Targa Ouzemmour campus hosts technology, exact sciences, natural and life sciences while the Abouau campus opened in 2003 on the road between Béjaïa and Tichy is occupied by the medical school along with the faculties of law, economics, management and commerce and arts and languages. A third campus is under development at Berchiche.
It aims to combine "sustainable development…in harmony with the challenges of globalisation", and hosts research centres for Innovation and Technology Transfer and Food Technology. As the leading Algerian university in the 2018 Nature Index, it has been one of four Algerian participants, of which two are universities, in the Erasmus SATELIT project, aimed at developing the innovation ecosystems of higher education institutions in the Maghreb region.