Education is given a high priority and accounts for 6% of GNP. A basic education for children between the ages of 6 and 16 has been compulsory since 1991. Tunisia ranked 17th in the category of "quality of the [higher] educational system" and 21st in the category of "quality of primary education" in The Global Competitiveness Report 2008-9, released by The World Economic Forum.
While children generally acquire Tunisian Arabic at home, when they enter school at age 6, they are taught to read and write in Standard Arabic. From the age of 8, they are taught French while English is introduced at the age of 12.
Colleges and universities in Tunisia include:
• École Polytechnique de Tunisie
• International University of Tunis
• Université Libre de Tunis
• Université de l'Aviation et Technologie de Tunisie
• Institut National d'Agronomie de Tunis
• Université des Sciences de