Doctoral students are invited to share their research, challenges, and aspirations in an effort to strengthen academic comradery and develop student autonomy.
Rabat – University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah (USMBA) in Fez will support doctoral students by offering an online MasterClass on May 8 called “Mindful Resources to Build Our Resilience Through Research During Crises.”
Prompted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on educational institutions and the ability to carry out research, the MasterClass will offer support, guidance, and advice to students. It will also offer a platform for students to share their research, methodologies, challenges, and aspirations through informal, roundtable discussions.
In collaboration with the Research Laboratory for Culture, Representation, Education, Didactics, and Engineering (CREDIF), the two organizations hope that the class will reinforce comradery amongst academics and aid in the development of student autonomy.
The seminar will consist of five plenary sessions, ice breaker activities, and a question and answer session. The main topics of the event cover resilience during crisis, methods for gaining perspective when overwhelmed, spiritual fitness and stress management, and questioning the role of doctoral schools during lockdown.
Encouraging student solidarity
The organizers released a flyer to advertise the supportive seminar reading, “We know that research can sometimes be an isolating experience. But you are not alone. The challenges that you are facing now are ones that others are also facing.”
The flyer notes the universal experience and challenges faced by students during the global health crisis. Organizers indicate that the upcoming MasterClass will be an opportunity to learn from others and develop new strategies for overcoming current obstacles in research and studies.
Latifa Belfakir of USMBA Fez, told Morocco World News that “the invitation is open to all doctoral students in our Lab and attendance is voluntary,” noting that organizers will conduct most of the seminar in English.
Professors participating in the MasterClass as speakers include Dr. Duncan Rinhart (Director of Leadership Development from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane), Dr. Ismail Alaoul (Head of the Department of Psychology at USMBA Fez), Dr. Latifa Belfakr (from the Department of English Studies at USMBA Fez), Dr. Mohamed Moubtassime (Doctoral School Director at USMBA Fez), and Dr. William R. Naugle (from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in the United States).
The president of USMBA-Fes, Dr. Radouane Mrabet, and the dean of the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, Dr. Khalid Lazaare, will also be present to give welcome speeches.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused universities worldwide to temporarily close their doors, forcing students to make a rapid transition to online learning, teaching, and research. For many students, the use of laboratories, as well as a lack of access to field research sites and necessary resources, have posed a serious challenge.
For some, the disruptions have interfered with student housing and academic program funding, putting students at risk for a number of insecurities beyond academia.
Morocco suspended in-person classes at all pedagogical institutions on March 16 to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country, and has since launched remote learning platforms and aired courses on television to promote the continuity of education throughout the country.