Advancing Graduate Education in Tunisia

View of famous Mosque in Tunis, Tunisia.

Selected high-potential scholars who are active in medical education in Tunisia will have an opportunity to apply for admission to one of Harvard Medical School's master’s degree programs with tuition support and funding to cover their living expenses in Boston for the duration of the programs. 

The Hazem Ben-Gacem Tunisia Medical Fellowship Fund will support two Tunisians who are accepted through HMS's admissions process each year for ten years, enabling them to undertake postgraduate master’s degree programs at HMS, before returning to their institutions in Tunisia. Students will advance their knowledge and professional potential in meaningful areas of health care like clinical and translational research.

Access to these master’s-level educational opportunities is being made possible by generous support from Hazem Ben-Gacem, a Harvard College alumnus who has funded other key University initiatives, including the 2016 opening of the Tunisia Office of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. In 2021, the four medical schools in Tunisia began offering HMS’s HMX online courses to select groups of their students as a result of another philanthropic gift from Ben-Gacem.

“I hope this funding will further strengthen Tunisia’s health care and medical research sectors," said Ben-Gacem. "The funding will help to ensure that future Tunisian workers in medical and health care sectors have benefited from some of the best education and experience they can. Ultimately, I hope the benefits and learning can be applied and felt not only in Tunisia but across Africa.”

The new program will support Tunisia’s medical education system by providing clinicians and academic researchers with the opportunity to become leaders of health care and medical research, ultimately alleviating suffering, and improving health and wellbeing in Tunisia and the region.

Postgraduate medical education includes professional development opportunities for health care professionals including physicians, researchers, and other health care providers with advanced education and an MD, PhD, MBBS, MBBCh, or comparable degree. Candidates from all over the world apply to participate in HMS' selective postgraduate programs.

“Mr. Ben-Gacem’s steadfast commitment to academic medicine will help advance health care and improve health and well-being in Tunisia,” said David Roberts, dean for external education, and the Steven P. Simcox, Patrick A. Clifford, and James H. Higby Associate Professor of Medicine at HMS.

HMS offers master’s degree programs to address the needs of clinicians, clinician-scientists, and administrators. These degrees combine innovative forms of pedagogy from leading Harvard faculty with an individual mentor experience in a Harvard-affiliated laboratory or with a practical application at HMS-affiliated hospitals. Importantly, they also prepare health care professionals to assume leadership roles in their place of employment and to lead high-profile projects. Graduates earn full HMS alumni status and remain connected to a vast network of likeminded colleagues.

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