Universities In Morocco
There are around 17 universities in Morocco (2 of which are private) and 320 higher education institutions within the country. Some private organizations also offer higher education. The tertiary education system in Morocco is free but there is a noticeable increase of private institutes. Admission to public universities requires only a baccalauréat degree (high school diploma), whereas admission to higher public education, such as engineering schools and medical schools requires the completion of competitive tests and special training before the exams. The tertiary education system in Morocco is provided by universities and institutions like engineering schools, teacher-training schools and centers under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education.
One of the famous public universities in Morocco is Al Qarawiyyin (Figure 1) located in Fes. It was founded in 859 AD and is the oldest existing and continually operating educational institution in the world according to UNESCO and Guinness World Records. The most important majors in Al Qarawiyyin are in religious studies, legal sciences and the Al Maliki doctrine. Many famous scientists and philosophers graduated from it Al Qarawiyyin and it was incorporated into Morocco’s modern state university system in 1963. It remains one of the leading educational and spiritual centers of the region. Also, there is the Mohammed V University in Rabat which was founded in 1957. It is one of the oldest modern universities in Morocco and the students attending Mohammed V University specialize in medicine, science, law and liberal arts.
In addition to public universities, there are some private schools. Most of these schools require high tuition and high academic achievement. The most famous example is Al-Akhawayan University in Ifrane. When compared to the standard of living in Morocco, average citizens are not able to afford sending their children to this school. Only the elite can afford the tuition and its curriculum is based on the American Educational Model.
Moroccan higher education has faced many challenges and obstacles, one of the most significant being the unemployment rate among graduates. This is apparent by the continuous protests of unemployed graduates, as pictured in the photo to the left in front of the parliament building(Figure 2). Graduates from abroad and from the private schools are given priority in the hiring process and finding work after graduation requires strong connections with the officials in the government. Unfortunately, bribes can be the most effective method of landing a good job opportunity. This persistent problem drove the king, Mohamed VI, to establish the special Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research program to lead a comprehensive reform of the higher education.