Israeli institutions sign partnerships with Morocco

Published 21/09/2022

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has welcomed students from Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Morocco to its Global Health Summer program for the first time.

It follows a 2021 agreement which was the first academic and scientific collaboration between universities in Israel and Morocco. Relations began in the Abraham Accords, which were signed in 2020 between the State of Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

Leading Israeli universities, including the Technion, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, were also involved in cooperation agreements on academic research collaboration with Mohammed VI Polytechnic in 2021.

The UAE’s foreign minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan also recently visited the Technion campus.

“There are promising opportunities to enhance and develop our countries’ cooperation, and align it with our efforts to achieve economic prosperity and sustainable growth,” he said.

One year after signing the Accords, BGU and UM6P also signed an historic MOU for cooperation in the fields of research and education in September 2021.

Following the university’s strategic plan, BGU signed the agreement with UM6P, and later with the International University of Rabat, since they have many common fields of study and research with the institutions.

“This year, we had the chance to include also Moroccan students”

The collaboration with BGU specifically focused on research in the fields of aquaculture, energy and ecological rehabilitation.

In their speeches, the presidents of the universities emphasised the strategic and historical nature of this agreement for it opens a window to a meaningful partnership based on the unshakable borders between Morocco and its Jewish citizens wherever they are found around the world.

This partnership, they highlighted, also echoed the desire of the universities to engage in higher education in accordance with the universal values of solidarity, peace and humanism on which normative higher education is usually based.

The institutions launched their student exchange program this last summer in which five students from Morocco transferred to BGU and took the Global Health summer course for one month.

Photo: Technion

This summer course has been running every summer for seven years, and students from India, China, the US and more have attended this course during the years. “This year, we had the chance to include also Moroccan students,” a source from BGU confirmed to The PIE News.

“They were all doctorate students,” BGU explained. The students “were first chosen by their home universities and applied for the program”.

“Then, an academic committee reviewed their profiles and all other applicants and only students with the requested academic background were admitted to the program,” BGU said.

The Global Health summer program, according to BGU, includes a comprehensive learning experience that combines classroom study, professional field trips, and a one-week practicum.​ Students learn about various aspects of global health decision-making, such as globalisation, ethics, migration, and case studies like the global impact of Covid-19, Climate Change, AIDS, Mental Health, and more.

In addition, they receive a thorough social program including trips around the country and the Negev region, social activities with other international students, academic and general orientation session upon arrival.

The team of the program includes academic teaching staff, a student coordinator, dorms and social counsellors, administrative director of the program.

BGU explained in addition that the students received scholarships either from their home university or from VP or global engagement at BGU, depending on the case.

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