Higher education: a new academic year under the sign of innovation

Following two consecutive years under Covid marked by distance education, the start of the 2022-2023 academic year is under the sign of innovation. According to the report drawn up by the Ministry of Higher Education, several new features will be present this year.

The student population, the capacity of universities and the strategy for the development of scientific research… are among the many aspects addressed in the report on the start of the 2022-2023 academic year. Presented by Abdellatif Miraoui, Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation, on Wednesday October 19, before the Commission for Education, Culture and Communication in the Chamber of Councillors, the document also examines the management of scholarships, as well as university residences, with a light on the situation of Moroccan students returning from Ukraine. The report’s first bitter observation is the 1.4% drop in the number of high school graduates for the 2021-2022 school year, which fell to 328,650. Fortunately, the number of students registered in the various public universities increased by 6.49% with more than 1.13 million registered. 86% of them are enrolled in open access institutions while 14% continue their higher education in limited access institutions.

58 new routes
The document also looks at medical training, recalling that its duration has been reduced. From 7 years, it has risen to 6. The idea is to double the number of graduates from the faculties of medicine and pharmacy and the faculties of dentistry by 2026. On another register, the report mentions the opening of a degree in education in order to train a new generation of educators in primary and secondary education by 2025. 58 new courses have been created: 5 in agriculture, food industry and maritime fishing, 9 in digitalization and life sciences data, 5 in renewable energies, 18 in finance, 2 in tourism, 18 in logistics and 1 course in extraction and conversion. Support for the development of the automotive and aeronautical industry is also planned with a view to reaching 100,000 graduates by 2025. In order to strengthen the language skills of students, 18 new English courses have been implemented. place in public universities, as well as 21 degrees in private universities. Two modules will be included, approximately 12531 students will have to complete at least one of the modules during the year 2022-2023. The ministry also plans to launch 10 new degrees, 7 masters and 1 doctorate.

Establishment of a more adapted ecosystem
The start of the 2022-2023 academic year will be marked by the implementation of the plan to accelerate the transformation of the ecosystem of higher education, scientific research and innovation. And in order to expand the offer of social services intended for students, the ministry is implementing a strategy within the framework of the ESRI 2030 PACTE. have access to the offer of university accommodation. This initiative aims to ensure equal opportunities for students. The food component was also mentioned. Indeed, the ministry plans 15 million additional meals. As for graduate scholarships, the ”My Scholarship” platform received 224,956 applications. 75% of requests should be accepted.

In addition, the ministry projects the extension of the university residences, and this, through the construction of three university residences, including one public and two within the framework of a public-private partnership. The number of beds will be increased from 51,630 in 2021-2022 to 53,653 in 2022-2023, of which 63% will be reserved for women. Among the ministry’s ambitions is also the completion of construction and extension projects for the university residences of Beni Mellal, Taza, Kenitra, Meknes, Nador, Fez, Mohammedia and Al Hoceima. In order to encourage partnership with the private sector for the construction of private student housing in cities where the need is felt, 17 agreements have been concluded with several real estate developers as well as 6 residences which have already been opened in Agadir, Kenitra , Rabat and Tetouan with a capacity of 732 beds. 11 other residences are under construction, with an estimated capacity of 6,950 beds.

20,000 new seats in universities
With the extension of 16 university establishments, 20,000 new seats have been distributed over several universities in the Kingdom, namely the Ibn Zohr University of Agadir (9419), the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University of Fez (4968), the Ibn Tofaïl University in Kenitra (3510), Moulay Ismaïl University in Meknes (1000), Hassan 1er University in Settat (768), and Mohammed Premier University (UMP) in Oujda (160). Regarding the worrying situation of Moroccan students returning from Ukraine, the report said that during this month, a delegation from the ministry will go on a mission to Bulgaria. The Kingdom should receive a Bulgarian delegation from next month in order to implement the integration plan for these students.

Scientific research: a battery of scheduled projects

• Establishment of a new generation of doctoral students who will go beyond the basic bachelor-master and doctorate course.

• Creation of new research institutes in the field of health, water and artificial intelligence.

• Inauguration of two new innovation complexes.

• Production of 14,200 indexed scientific publications by 2023.

• Support for innovative project leaders. 100 projects within the framework of innovation support have already been identified.

• Actions aimed at improving the ranking of Moroccan universities.

• Conclusion of 70 expertise-partnerships within the framework of the Fincome program.

Kenza Aziouzi / ECO Inspirations

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Higher education: a new academic year under the sign of innovation

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