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German-Tunisian Scholarship Programme at F+U Academy of Languages: In Conversation with Anis Hawass


The Tunisia Centre is an international project that F+U Academy of Languages Heidelberg is especially proud of. A cooperative project of the Tunisian Ministry of Education and our partner agency Access Tunisie, the scholarship programme enables Tunisian teachers of German to take part in a training programme at our language school. Thus, in April we got to welcome 20 scholars.

We had the chance to speak with Anis Hawass, GFL inspector at the Tunisian Ministry of Education, about the German-Tunisian cooperation and the scholarship programme for Tunisian teachers:

Mr. Hawass, how did the cooperation with our language school come into being?

I am a GFL inspector in Tunisia, where I ensure a consistent quality of German classes in Tunisian schools on the basis of constant inspections and trainings. Since 2009, I have been working closely with F+U Academy of Languages Heidelberg and Access Tunisie in order to promote DaF programmes for learners of the German language in Tunisia and the German-Tunisian exchange at the language school in Heidelberg. During our eight-year cooperation, we have accomplished many positive results, like for instance the establishment of the Tunisia Centre in Heidelberg. Around 400 Tunisian students come to the F+U Academy of Languages’ schools in Heidelberg, Darmstadt and Berlin to learn German every year.

How did the scholarship programme in cooperation with the Ministry of Education come into being?

Initially, the scholarship programme emerged in cooperation with the Tunisian-German Society for Cultural Exchange (TDK), which I founded. Since I am convinced that teachers of German should have visited Germany at least once, I wanted to initiate a training programme for Tunisian teachers in Germany. Thus, we were able to send the first group of Tunisian teachers to F+U Academy of Languages in Heidelberg in 2013. As the project was very successful in the following years, we decided to promote the scholarship on an official level with the support of the Tunisian Ministry of Education. In 2016, the planning started and in March 2017, the scholarship programme was enacted by the head of the F+U Academy of Languages Heidelberg, Karl-Heinz Rippel, and the Tunisian Minister of Education, Neji Jalloul, in Tunis. Moreover, we awarded 12 scholarships to Tunisian students for a language stay in Germany during the summer.

Mr. Hawass, you were in charge of the application procedure and you also take care of the teacher groups during their stay in Heidelberg. Which qualities distinguish the teachers of this scholarship programme?

It is important for us as programme organisers that the applicants demonstrate curiosity about new teaching methods in the selection interviews. Recent teaching concepts and new ideas are the focus of the training programme. Besides, we wanted to have a heterogeneous group consisting of participants who already received a grant in the past and participants who have not. By that we want to achieve that the scholars support and enrich each other based on their varying experiences. From the very beginning, the teachers have shown solidarity with each other: They worked together, helped each other and actively contributed to the workshops. The atmosphere of the workshops has always been easy going and relaxed, which is something that appeals to participants.

Last but not least: Which project is on the agenda for you and F+U Academy of Languages Heidelberg?

A group of Tunisian students who have been awarded scholarships as part of the cooperation with the Tunisian Ministry of Education will visit Heidelberg in July. I will be in Heidelberg as well to support the students. Apart from that, I frequently travel to Heidelberg to consolidate the cooperation between F+U Academy of Languages Heidelberg and the Tunisian Ministry of Education.

Mr. Hawass, thank you very much for the interesting conversation.


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