The meeting was structured around three themes relating to the promotion of partnerships in the field of scientific research, governance and quality assurance, the internationalization of higher education, common priorities and the development of strategies defined by the organizations of the two countries.
During this meeting, chaired by the Minister of Higher Education, Abdellatif Miraoui, the commercial envoy of the British Prime Minister to Morocco, Andrew Morrison, and the Director of the British Council Morocco, Tony Reilly, the accent was placed on the various Moroccan-British initiatives in the field of research and the promotion of quality assurance within Moroccan universities. These include grants awarded to support international research cooperation between the universities of the two countries, under the program “Links through Research in the Environment”, the participation of 60 researchers from 12 universities Moroccan public authorities to distance training sessions to strengthen their communication skills as part of the “Connexion Researcher” program, or even the holding of training sessions on internal and external institutional evaluation.
Speaking on this occasion, Abdellatif Miraoui explained that “it is important to mobilize the potential for cooperation between Morocco and the United Kingdom on solid foundations, by motivating the higher education establishments of the two countries to exchange their expertise and experience in pedagogical approaches”. The minister expressed his commitment to joint research programs, including priority topics for both parties, including energy transition, climate change and health security, as well as digital and technology. The Minister also stressed the need to promote mobility programs aimed at enriching the experience of Moroccan and British students and researchers as a lever for cultural and intellectual convergence.
Signature of a memorandum of understanding
For his part, Tony Reilly, Director of the British Council Morocco declared that the stakeholders of this project have “achieved so much together since the inaugural meeting of Higher Education of the United Kingdom and Morocco which was held in London in January 2020”. “There is much more we can do to expand research collaboration between the two countries, encourage UK universities to partner here in Morocco, share their expertise and increase the number of Moroccan students who choose to study in Morocco. one of our world-class universities,” he added.
As a culmination of the meeting, and to crown its work, a memorandum of understanding was signed by the National Agency for Evaluation and Quality Assurance of Higher Education and Scientific Research (ANEAQ) and the Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (QAA), to continue and expand areas of cooperation and partnership between the two parties.
In this sense, El Mokhtar Bakkour, director of the National Agency for Evaluation and Quality Assurance of Higher Education and Scientific Research – Kingdom of Morocco (ANEAQ) declared that “by the British Council ticket, this cooperation with the QAA offered training for 30 people, within the framework of internal evaluation and external evaluation”. Experts from the Agency have been designated to follow this training over two sessions, Bakkour indicated, concluding that this signature allows an exchange of information, documents and experts as well.