Tuesday 20 September 2016
Location: SOAS, University of London, London, UK

Purpose of event

This one-day event brought together and enabled key UK stakeholders to learn more about the context for English language training, teaching and learning across the countries of the Maghreb – Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia - and opportunities that may exist. We shared research, market intelligence and our insights to facilitate the UK ELT sector’s engagement in the region.

Key objectives:

  • Share context, research and insights into the Maghreb region 
  • To help identify commercial opportunities that may be available for UK ELT providers 
  • To create networking channels and explore potential strategic partnerships’

The Opportunity Maghreb event presented the English language context in each of the four countries and introduced a chosen number of policy makers and educators from Ministries, their dependent institutions and the private sector of the four Maghreb countries.

The event was facilitated by British Council staff working both in the Maghreb countries and the UK.


The countries of the Maghreb - namely Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia – face many shared challenges including youth unemployment, which has hit 29% across the region. A number of socio-economic factors are involved but there is a growing body of evidence which indicates that the limited ability to speak English and lack of business-related soft skills are the two main labour deficiencies that have prevented young people in the Maghreb finding or creating employment.

Currently, levels of English are low in all countries. Quality of provision in the education system is poor, and in the Francophone three, low importance is currently given to English.

Encouragingly, governments across the Maghreb increasingly recognise the importance that English language skills and a quality education can play in employment opportunities, both at home and internationally. In a region where the French language continues to play a pivotal role in the three largest countries, this gradual but formal shift towards embedding English into public systems is highly significant.

Below are the following resources:

  • The recently launched 'English & Soft Skills in the Maghreb' research report findings and recommendations
  • The four Maghreb countries education overview reports
  • The Opportunity Maghreb conference guide