As soon as the results of the bachelor’s degree in Algeria were announced on July 16, satirical posts of students with low acceptance rates started circulating through social media, Dr. Hamza LabiatAn Algerian researcher at the University of Oxford explained that his low graduation rate was not a barrier to achieving success.
“Labit began his efforts to guide successful students to choose appropriate science majors at university.Global Network of Algerian Scientists(International Network of Algerian Scientists), which met with wide communication and popularity.
Al Jazeera Net got in touch with Hamza Labiat through the “Teams” application, and we had this conversation with him in which students shared his initiative and inspiring success story in the field of physics.
You have launched an initiative to help students choose appropriate academic subjects at university. How did the idea for this venture come about?
The idea for this initiative came from my personal experience, I had a low acceptance rate in graduation and my marks were 6.5 out of 20 and 7.5 out of 20 in physics and I expected less. I am now a physics researcher at the University of Oxford.
In fact, I want students to understand that low grades in undergraduate studies are not a barrier to success in university, especially if they are well aware of their abilities and tendencies.
That’s why when I joined the university, I chose material science and then specialized in physics, and I managed to get great success, and I topped the class, because the university has a lot of time and little time. More psychological pressure than a bachelor’s degree, and it also tests the student’s ability to explain and prove laws and theories, so it was the best scope for me.
So, when I graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in physics, I completed all the preparations to continue my studies in France and then pursued a long scientific career. As I naturally like to pass on my experiences and expertise to others and am active in this aspect wherever I go, my story with my baccalaureate was a real purpose behind my efforts to guide students to success in their undergraduate studies.
Can you tell us more about the details of the initiative and the student engagement?
This initiative is based on guiding students who have succeeded in undergraduate studies to choose a suitable specialization at the university, which I personally started in recent years through social networking sites, and every time I receive hundreds of messages from students, I always try to answer. Most of them, especially students who I feel are at risk and threatened by choosing a specialization, my knowledge does not apply to them.
From 2021, after my involvement in this initiative, Algeria comes under the global network of scientists. This year, we are hosting researchers specializing in the physical and chemical sciences working in Britain.
We are looking forward to achieve a better communication like the previous editions and help the students to find wider horizons in the fields of physics and chemistry in terms of job opportunities in industries or scientific research and others. Disciplines such as no future.
The main goal we are working with through this initiative is to make the student understand that choosing a science major in a university based on job opportunities is a wrong choice because job status is not guaranteed, while choosing based on his skills. Qualifications are guaranteed because it allows him to excel and achieve the goal he wants. He wants him and thus gets a prestigious job position that exceeds expectations.
What difficulties did you face during this endeavor?
The first difficulty was trying to gather the researchers for two hours because of their interest, but the researchers, of course, have a great desire to help new students and do what they can to make the meeting possible, especially since the results are announced and the beginning of undergraduate and university registrations in the summer; Therefore, it coincides with a holiday for most researchers.
But before joining the Global Network of Algerian Scholars, it can be said that it was difficult to manage the meeting, control the time and manage the questions and answers, but we benefited from its professional team under the cover of the network. They do everything professionally and we only care about the content.
Do you see this initiative as a precursor to implementing a program similar to the “Seeds for Researchers” program you oversaw in France?
In France, there is great interest in organizing and managing human resources, and I was selected to lead a project.Researchers are the seeds(Graines de chercheurs) When I joined the University of Rennes for a PhD in the field of “Laboratory Astrophysics”, I received a letter from the university’s headquarters, saying that my story and my scientific career were inspiring, so they wanted me to stay. An inspiration to their children living in “imperfect” areas. To study”, I was chosen to lead the first in France “Seeds for Researchers” project. Astronomy.
The idea of the project is that people who do not live in the center of cities, such as Africans and Arabs, do not have schools with higher education, and on the other hand, have exceptional potentials that need to be discovered. Extracted from that ocean and invested in it.
Because they see that I am a successful young researcher from a small town (Gijel, Eastern Algeria); I was the right person to lead the program where each student supervises 5 high school students and each high school student supervises 5 middle school students at the university, and the program from 2015 to 2017 was very successful.
Therefore, I encourage, motivate and train middle and high school students and university students to complete their master’s studies and become researchers in the future. That is why I try to inspire every student or student with my experience in all possible endeavors inside or outside Algeria.
Can such projects be implemented in Algeria?
In Algeria its use is possible and there is a desire, the idea still applies, we only need some financial and administrative skills, because in France the pilot projects do not face problems, on the other hand, in Algeria we face obstacles, especially when it comes to the legal and administrative environment of the project.
Some projects have not succeeded due to the lack of appropriate legal framework for them despite the merits and potential in Algeria. However, the project is still possible, subject to the World Astronomical Union Commission’s plan. As a member of the union I will be ready to help implement it.
From your personal experience, can you offer the most important principle for students to succeed in their scientific careers?
A key principle that I consider and believe to be one of the secrets of success is that “what people think is not necessarily the best for you” and I have worked with this principle throughout my career.
For example, when I left Algeria and registered for a master’s degree at the University of Montpellier in France, I was the first student in the class, and despite all the conditions and qualifications to register for a doctoral degree, I did not, and I received a second master’s degree in theoretical physics and mathematics.
However, despite criticism from parents and close people that it was a waste of time and necessary to register for a PhD, I decided to try and find something else, and eventually I did a Masters in Energy and Radiation. Physics, and here I decided to finish a doctorate in this specialization, because I want it, and I enrolled in a doctorate at Ron University in the specialty “Laboratory astrophysics” all masters (physics). , astronomy, experimental techniques and auxiliary physics).
So, instead of assuming that people are better, I focused on giving myself an opportunity to find the field I wanted and satisfy my scientific curiosity.
Did you work on the same principle when you moved to Britain?
Yes, after my PhD in 2017, I worked on the same principle, I saw France as a transit station, so I applied for jobs and got 3 research opportunities in the US in Washington, Britain and Switzerland.
I didn’t choose the public side, but I chose Swansea University in Britain because the research program was interesting. My thinking was from a scientific point of view, not as it seems to people. Washington was the best. Switzerland is better in terms of luxury terms and salary, but not the best for me.
So, I spent 3 years as a research assistant at Swansea University and then moved to Oxford University 8 months ago, currently working on a very important project in nuclear and molecular physics, the main goal of which is to understand nuclear and molecular dynamics. . Ultimately, any student should base his choices on his merits and take a fresh page from the university.
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