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Higher Education and Research in Morocco
What are the variant appellations for Morocco? Officially, the Kingdom of Morocco, but the term Morocco is by far the most common.
What is the geographical location of Morocco? Morocco is located on the northwestern tip of Africa.
What are the borders of Morocco? Morocco is bordered by Algeria in the west, Mauritania in the south, the Mediterranean Sea in the north and overlooks Spain and Portugal across the Gibraltar straits (Worth mentioning here the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in the north of Morocco) and the Atlantic Ocean in the west.
Higher Education is considered to be one of the key strategic sectors Morocco is relying upon to achieve its political stability, economic prosperity and cultural renaissance.
The Higher Education sector in Morocco is run by Driss Ouaouicha, Minister delegate for Higher Education.
Higher Education in Morocco includes private institutions, privately-run institutions and public institutions. Public Higher education institutions can be broken down into two types: Open-access and limited-access.
On completion of the secondary school program (baccalaureate/higher secondary certificate), students can pursue their studies in many open-access ( ) higher education institutions. They are, however, required to have high baccalaureate grades and take a competitive entrance exam to attend limited-access () institutions. As for private and privately-run () higher education institutions, students may be required to sit for an entrance exam/interview, as well as pay registration and scholarship fees.
[7 octobre 2021] Abdellatif Miraoui appointed Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.
[7 mai 2021] Signing of a partnership agreement concerning the creation of a research chair to promote scientific research on women’s economic empowerment at the University of Legal, Economic and social Sciences of Aïn Chock in Casablanca, by the Minister of Solidarity, Social Development, Equality and Family Affairs, the President of Hassan II University, Aawatef Hayar, and Abderrahim Khaldi, Vice-President of the «Green TIC» Project. “This chair will allow academics to come up with the necessary tools to insure women’s empowerment and reinforce their role in the consolidation of development. More than half of the students in our university are female students, the majority of whom distinguish themselves in their studies. And yet, only [13%] of women are project holders and less than [2%] hold decision-making jobs” (Aawatef Hayar’s Statement at a press conference).
[December 16, 2020] The British Council in Morocco in collaboration with the Department of Higher Education & Research at the Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education & Scientific Research, installed the first Digital Library Wall at Al Akhawayn Mohammed VI Library. The launch ceremony was attended virtually by Dr. Driss Ouaouicha, Minister Delegate in charge of Higher Education and Research, Mr. Tony Reilly, British Council Director in Morocco, Mr. Simon Martin, British Ambassador to Morocco, President Amine Bensaid, and AUI faculty, staff, and students. The Digital Library Wall gives access to learning resources to develop skills and to a uniquely curated range of English-medium resources.
 Study and research opportunities/exchange programs in Europe for Moroccan students and academics: (1) Erasmus+: Enhancing European Educational Mobility: Moroccan students can participate in the renowned Erasmus+ program, a flagship initiative by the European Union (EU) that facilitates student mobility across various European countries. The program allows students to study abroad, discover new cultures, and earn academic credits recognized by their home institutions; (2) Fulbright Program: Academic Excellence and International Exposure: The Fulbright Program presents Moroccan students with the opportunity to study and conduct research in Europe, enabling them to excel academically while experiencing diverse global perspectives; (3) CIMO Scholarship: Embracing Finland’s Academic Environment: Moroccan scholars can benefit from the Center for International Mobility (CIMO) scholarships in Finland, exploring a range of academic disciplines while engaging in research and innovation; (4) DAAD Scholarship: Unlocking German Educational Excellence: The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers scholarships that appeal to Moroccan students seeking academic excellence and vibrant cultural experiences in Germany; (5) Chevening Scholarships: Nurturing Future Leaders in the UK: Moroccan students can apply for the prestigious Chevening Scholarships, generously supported by the UK government, to pursue their studies in leading UK universities; (6) AUF Scholarships: Embracing Francophonie in European Institutions: The Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) extends scholarships to Moroccan students, enabling them to immerse themselves in French-speaking European countries, fostering linguistic and cultural exchange; (7) ISEP Exchange Program: Reciprocal Learning across Europe: Through the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), Moroccan students can engage in reciprocal exchanges with European universities, providing a diverse array of academic opportunities; (8) CEU Visiting Students Initiative: Discovering Vienna and Budapest: The Central European University (CEU) offers the Visiting Students Initiative, giving Moroccan students the chance to experience a captivating academic environment in Vienna and Budapest; (9) Socrates-Erasmus Mundus: Connecting Moroccan Scholars with European Universities: Moroccan students can partake in the Socrates-Erasmus Mundus program, fostering global academic collaboration and offering opportunities to study at esteemed European institutions; (10) Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJWBGSP): Contributing to Global Development: While not exclusively focused on Europe, this program grants Moroccan students the chance to pursue graduate studies at various European universities, contributing to global sustainable development efforts.
 Key changes will affect Higher Education in Morocco at the start of the forthcoming academic year 2023–2024: (1) The “vocational” BA programs will be discontinued in the open-access higher education institutions affiliated to public/state universities, as part of the state-wide education reform of BA programs in the open-access public faculties. All open-access public faculties have suspended enrollment in the former “vocational” BA programs. (2) A new merit-based BA program will be launched and a limited number of deserving students will be allowed to enroll, based on the seats available: between  and  for each of the sciences and technology courses and between  and  seats for all remaining courses. (3) Entry conditions to the Master’s and PhD programs will be tightened. Vocational master’s programs and courses, previously tied to the former vocational BA programs, will be scrapped. A new generation of PhD’s will be introduced in which students will be devoted to research work for their theses. The PhD writing period will remain the same:  to  years. As well as working on their theses within specific research labs, PhD students will have to contribute to the general tasks inside the research faculties they are affiliated to, such as supervising students and organizing exams. This new form of research programs is meant prepare a new generation of university teachers with research and supervision capabilities, to make up for the expected shortage of academics, which will ensue as many university professors currently in place retire.
 The number of young Moroccans to be trained over the next five months under the leadership training program, organized by the U.S. Embassy in Morocco and the Anoual Association. The program kicks off with an intensive workshop in Marrakech on February 25, 2022 and concludes with each participant implementing a unique community project in their hometown across Morocco. ALA is an innovative program designed to develop interpersonal and leadership skills among Moroccan youth for positive change in the country. Through this program, participants develop the mindset, approach, and skills needed to be a Moroccan leader of tomorrow. ALA works with internationally renowned mentors, aiming to provide participants with the guidance needed at every step of the process, from idea formation, to communication and management, to community building, to financial and legal negotiations.
“Why do some public universities have to take the brunt of overcrowding? A case in point is Ibn Zohr University which accepts students from 4 southern regions and has a student population nearing [120,000]. The question is how do we tackle the problem of overcrowding?”
“New Universities are to be built. Adding new classrooms here and there and soliciting the help of teaching assistants from outside the university are make-shift, short-term approaches and would not solve the problem of overcrowding.”
Press articles […]
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Ministry of Higher Education
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