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La fièvre des Mooc gagne l’Afrique

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Lancées par de grandes écoles internationales, les formations ouvertes à tous sur internet attirent de plus en plus d'étudiants africains.

Étudier à Harvard ou à Stanford, beaucoup en rêvent. Mais quand ce n’est pas le talent qui manque, les frais de scolarité constituent souvent un obstacle insurmontable à ce projet. Du moins dans le passé, car depuis deux ans, la multiplication des cours massifs en ligne – appelés Mooc, pour massive open online courses – change la donne.

Entre l’enseignement à distance et les cours classiques, cette approche ouvre une troisième voie. Il s’agit de formations ouvertes à tous, accessibles via internet. Vidéos, quiz interactifs, forums de discussion… Les outils pédagogiques sont variés et visent à créer une communauté réunissant étudiants et professeurs.

La fièvre des Mooc se propage désormais dans le monde entier. On en compte environ un millier dans toutes les langues

Certificat

D’abord localisée aux États-Unis, la fièvre des Mooc se propage désormais dans le monde entier. On en compte environ un millier dans toutes les langues. Et l’Afrique francophone commence déjà à y goûter grâce aux écoles européennes.

Pour sa troisième édition, le programme de l’École centrale de Lille consacré à la gestion de projet rencontre un important succès sur le continent. « Plus de 20 % des 11 300 inscrits viennent d’Afrique », explique son initiateur, Rémi Bachelet, pour qui il s’agit « d’un formidable outil de communication au moment où le groupe Centrale projette d’ouvrir un campus au Maroc ».

Bien sûr, ces cours suivis sur internet n’ouvrent pas droit à un diplôme à part entière, mais dans certains cas ils permettent d’obtenir un certificat moyennant 50 euros. Après avoir organisé des évaluations classiques à Dakar et à Ouagadougou, l’École centrale de Lille envisage cette année des examens surveillés par l’intermédiaire de webcams.

Appétence

En Suisse, l’École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) est également sensible au potentiel africain. Pour le doyen de la faculté helvétique, Karl Aberer, l’enjeu fondamental des Mooc est de déterminer qui va contrôler la distribution du savoir.

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Paul Giniès : « L’offre de formation doit tenir compte de la demande du secteur privé »

Membre du réseau Rescif, qui réunit quatorze universités francophones technologiques, dont l’Université Cheikh-Anta-Diop de Dakar et l’Institut international d’ingénierie de l’eau et de l’environnement (2IE) de Ouagadougou, l’EPFL constate, elle aussi, l’appétence des Africains pour ce mode d’enseignement. Ainsi, 16 % des étudiants de ses trois premiers Mooc francophones viennent d’Afrique, sans qu’aucune démarche n’ait été faite pour les attirer.

Très intéressées par cette approche car elle répond en partie à leur manque de professeurs, plusieurs universités du Sénégal, du Maroc, de Tunisie et du Burkina espèrent pouvoir monter à leur tour leur propre programme en ligne, grâce à l’appui de l’Agence universitaire de la francophonie. Réponse en mai, à l’issue de l’appel d’offres actuellement en cours.

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