The higher-education system in Morocco reflects its French colonial past.
Even though it is situated on the vulnerable northwestern coast of Africa, Morocco remained independent for centuries until the mid-1800s, when Spain occupied the northern part of the country. It was then a French protectorate from the early 1900s through 1956, when it gained independence. The country’s culture is diverse and draws from Arab, Berber, European, and African influences, but its political structure is not: true power rests in the hands of the monarch. In the 1970s, it annexed Western Sahara, to the south, but the status of the territory is disputed to this day.
In Marrakech the average temperature in summer is a sizzling 38 C (100 F). In winter it is around 21 C (70 F). In mountainous areas (like the Atlas range) temperatures often drop below zero and mountain peaks remain snow-capped throughout most of the year. The average annual temperatures of Morocco’s major cities are as follows: Rabat, 21 C (71 F); Casablanca, 20 C (69 F); Marrakesh, 21 C (71 F); Fez, 18 C (66 F); Meknes, 20 C (68 F); and, Tangier, 18 C (66 F).
Monthly averages: October through May 20-30 mm (.7- 1.1 inches); June through September: 2-10 mm (.07 - .39 inches).
Overview of Higher Education
The higher-education system in Morocco reflects its recent French colonial past and primarily comprises universities, higher schools (grandes écoles), teacher-training institutes, and other specialized institutes. Higher schools require two years of preparatory classes, on top of a secondary-school diploma, for admission.
Undergraduate study generally lasts four years and results in a license, or maîtrise. Postgraduate study can lead to one of three degrees. Only holders of a license may go on to obtain a master’s of advanced studies (Diplôme d’Études Supérieures Approndies), which requires an additional two years of study but permits a student to then pursue a doctorate.
Higher education is nominally free for Moroccan students. In 2007 some 370,000 students were pursuing various levels of higher education in the country.
Université Quaraouyine Fès, founded in 859, is among the oldest institutions of higher learning in continuous existence.
(Sources: BBC, The Europa World of Learning, Moroccan Ministry of National Education)
Number of Colleges, Universities, Technical Institutes
Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (total): 15
Number of Higher Education Students
Number of students enrolled: 369,000
Ministry of Education, Higher Education, and Scientific Research
Avenue Nasr, Bab Rouah – Rabat. Morocco
Web site: http://www1.men.gov.ma/men
Phone: (037) 68 72 11 / 03 / 07
Contact: Ahmed Akhchichine, Minister of Education and Higher Education