Fez - With only sixth months to go before the end of his term as Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Training, Dr. Lahcen Daoudi has shifted into high gear to strengthen the position of English in Moroccan higher education.
Fez – With only sixth months to go before the end of his term as Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Training, Dr. Lahcen Daoudi has shifted into high gear to strengthen the position of English in Moroccan higher education.
After stating a few months ago at the university of Agadir that a “student who does not speak more than one foreign language should dig his own grave and bury himself,” Daoudi now seems to have decided to move from words to deeds.
In a study day organized by the Faculty of Science and Technology in Settat, Daoudi said that a ministerial note will be circulated to all Moroccan universities concerning the ministry’s new criteria for doctoral defenses beginning in September 2017.
Under the new scheme, students who wish to defend their doctoral projects must have at least one article written in English, part of their bibliographical references in English, and an abstract in English.
The jury hearing the defense will also be required to include a member who has mastered English. Daoudi said that while his decision might seem hard for students, it was made for their benefit and interests.
The new “amendments” have been received with cynicism and mockery on social media and are considered by many mere grandstanding because the minister has no real authority over research centers at the universities.
One commenter noted that “[sic] the minister himself if he wished to enroll in doctoral studies would not be admitted because he has no technical authority over universities, professors, and research centers
Generally, Moroccan university and higher education institutions are regulated by law 01.00, an advanced law granting the university full independence from the ministry and from the central administration. The independence provided to the Moroccan university is financial, managerial, and even logistical.
The Minister of Higher Education has very limited authority. He or she can nominate officials for high positions at the university, can preside over the boards of universities, and is a member of the Supreme Council for Education and Training.