University

“It will be excellent to take what we had in training” | Atalayar

The links between Spain and Morocco go beyond historical, geographical or political contexts. In recent decades, parties in various fields have forged alliances that have served as bridges between societies. One of these meeting points was precisely the academic field, where Morocco and Spain, in this case through the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, have managed to unite the methods, areas of research and educational experiences to improve higher education.

Academics from both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar had the opportunity to exchange views. The Regional Junta of Andalusia and Atalayar magazine organized the forum on Tuesday in Seville in collaboration with the Three Cultures Foundation and the International Press Club “Andalusia, Spain-Morocco Euro-Mediterranean node”a space to deepen Spanish-Moroccan relations.

Randa Jebrouni
ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LOPEZ – Randa Jebrouni, Research Professor at the Institute for Hispanic Studies, Abdelmalek Essaâdi University in Tetouan

Randa Jebrouni, Research Professor at the Department of Hispanic Studies at the Abdelmalek Essaâdi University in Tetouan, Jamal Eddine Stitou El Messari, University Professor and Head of International Projects at the same university, and Arturo Chica Pérez, Vice Rector for Internationalization at the International University of Andalusia (UNIA). various Hispano-Moroccan university cooperation initiatives during a dialogue moderated by the journalist Carmen Beamonte, information director of the Canal Sur channel.

Under the title “University Cooperation: Promoting Hispano-Moroccan Talents”, Jebrouni listed dozens of cases of collaboration in this area since the turn of the century. “From 2007 to 2016 alone, there were a total of 176 actions by Spanish universities in Morocco. A large part of these came specifically from the Andalusian university,” said the professor from the Department of Hispanic Studies, most of which relate to the launch of development and research programs in Morocco scientific or social issues.

Jamal Eddine Stitou El Messari
ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LOPEZ – Jamal Eddine Stitou El Messari, University Professor and Head of International Projects at Abdelmalek Essaâdi University in Tetouan

Messari highlighted the “nearly three decades of educational cooperation” between the university centers of Spain and Morocco, citing as an example the reception of Moroccan university students by the University of Cadiz. In line with what university professor Abdelmalek Essaâdi said, El Messari highlighted the various Hispano-Moroccan projects and initiatives, although he initially insisted on declaring that his university was “the only center in northern Morocco” in public ownership.

Abdelmalek Essaâdi University is spread over six cities, which are home to “10% of the Moroccan population, with an activity rate of 46%”. “From an economic point of view, it is the second most important region in Morocco after Casablanca,” he said. This explains why this center is one of the most important institutions with internationalization programs and partnerships with Spanish and Andalusian universities.

Randa Jebrouni
ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LOPEZ – Randa Jebrouni, Research Professor at the Institute of Hispanic Studies, Abdelmalek Essaâdi University in Tetouan and Jamal Eddine Stitou El Messari, University Professor and Head of International Projects at the same university

Arturo Chica Pérez explained to the other speakers that his center is at the service of the Andalusian regional government “as an instrument of internationalization”. There is therefore a fluent collaboration with Moroccan universities, since many students are of foreign origin. In addition, they do not work alone, but in cooperation with other universities in the region. “The postgraduate courses [la seule catégorie de son offre académique] are inter-university”, said the vice-rector of the International University of Andalusia (UNIA).

El Messari added to Chica Pérez’s remarks Abdelmalek Essaâdi University collaborates with UNIA “through summer courses, publications, joint conferences and specific training, among others”.. Meanwhile, the Spanish professor recalled that this university cooperation was launched in 2016 and resumed in 2021 after a four-year break. It is currently in force until 2022.

Arturo Perez Chica
ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LOPEZ – Arturo Chica Pérez, Vice Rector for Internationalization of the International University of Andalusia (UNIA)

“During the pandemic we offered a free virtual course at the International University of Andalusia to train teachers on how to use new technologies. 150 professors from Moroccan universities have enrolled”added Chica Pérez, who also suggested organizing a “triangular meeting on water management with Latin American universities” for 2023. A proposal that was confirmed by his interlocutors.

For El Messari, “it would be perfect for us to take back what we had” before the disruption of bilateral ties severing set in. Chica Pérez downplayed the issue, pointing out that they were the first “to cross the border when it opened in May to meet their colleagues from Abdelmalek Essaâdi University”. In fact, after this visit, an agreement to resume cooperation was signed.

Carmen Beaumonte
ATALAYAR/GUILLERMO LOPEZ – Arturo Chica Pérez, Vice-Rector for Internationalization of the International University of Andalusia (UNIA) and journalist Carmen Beamonte, Information Director of Canal Sur channel

Beamonte appreciated the role of the university as a “protagonist”, but in reality Spanish-Moroccan academic collaboration goes beyond that. As Jebrouni pointed out, “Morocco is the country with the most Cervantes Institutes in the world, six to be precise, and Spain is allocating 15 million euros for cultural activities and studies in Morocco”. El Messari added that in the North African country, “Spanish is gradually being introduced as a lingua franca in educational centers”. There is a future.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button