Arab Today, arab today assessing morocco’s higher education challenges
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Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Assessing Morocco’s higher education challenges

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Assessing Morocco’s higher education challenges

London - Arab Today

A pressing concern of young people in the region is how to get an education that will give them the knowledge and skills required for entry into the highly competitive MENA job market and to advance professionally. In April, AMIDEAST and Morocco’s Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research, and Executive Training assembled a group of experts and officials for a discussion of the challenges facing Morocco’s universities as they seek to meet the needs of Moroccan youth who are looking to these institutions to prepare them for the real world. The topic is timely. According to a recent World Bank report, around 30 percent of Moroccans between 15 and 29 in age—who account for 44 percent of the working-age population—were unemployed. The actual unemployment rate is likely higher, however, as these statistics don’t include many youth who have given up looking for work. The daylong event, called Innovation in Moroccan Higher Education: Models of Success and Future Challenge, focused on three areas with the potential for producing the greatest benefit: university-private sector cooperation, higher education governance and leadership, and faculty development. Dr. Abdelhafid Debbarh, secretary general of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Joseph Phillips, AMIDEAST country director for Morocco, welcomed approximately 50 stakeholders including university presidents, academics, and representatives of international multilateral organizations and local private sector companies. Speakers included: Dr. Abdelhafid Debbarh, secretary general of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Joseph Phillips, AMIDEAST country director for Morocco, welcomed approximately 50 stakeholders including university presidents, academics, and representatives of international multilateral organizations and local private sector companies. Speakers included: Dr. Taha Balafrej, Director of Sustainable Development for the OCP Groupe, and Mr. Nasser Kettani, Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft Middle East and North Africa, who demonstrated how universities can advance employment and social mobility through concrete examples Dr. Renee Robins of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, who outlined a national framework for improving graduates’ core competencies and soft skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and communication Dr. Driss Ouaouicha, president of Al Akhawayn University, and Dr. John Shumaker of AMIDEAST, who discussed the importance of further moves toward administrative autonomy within Morocco’s higher education institutions Dr. Amine Bensaid, president of the University of Mundiapolis, and Dr. Gregory Light, of Northwestern University, who reviewed the modalities of faculty development The seminar was one of several events that AMIDEAST has convened recently to engage stakeholders in discussions of the challenges facing higher education in the region. Last November, it co-hosted a similar seminar in Tunisia, and prior to that, between Sept. 2011 and May 2012, it helped organize a national roundtable series that addressed key issues of concern for the future of higher education in Palestine. Source: Amideast

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