Morocco: EU, EIB and EU ambassador delegation visits Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes (UEMF) for unprecedented exchange with students

(Source: European Investment Bank)

  • As part of the European Year of Youth and in connection with Europe Day celebrations, the European Union in Morocco, the EIB and 13 EU Member State ambassadors to Morocco took part in a joint visit to the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes (UEMF).
  • A plenary session co-chaired by UEMF President Professor Bousmina, EU Ambassador to Morocco Patricia Llombart-Cussac and EIB Representative in Morocco Anna Barone, and attended by Chancellor and Chairman of the Board of Directors of UEMF Mohammed Kabbaj, was followed by thematic roundtables for discussions with the ambassadors on subjects such as employability and entrepreneurship, and the environment.
  • This visit took place under the auspices of Team Europe and highlights the importance of the Morocco-EU partnership in supporting young people and their ideas.

As part of events held in connection with Europe Day (celebrated each year on 9 May), the European Union in Morocco — together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and 13 EU ambassadors to Morocco* — visited the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes (UEMF) and met with its students.

During this first joint visit to UEMF, the ambassadors engaged in exchanges with students in three thematic workshops — EU-Morocco partnership; climate change and entrepreneurship; and higher education and mobility — as well as on the overarching theme of gender.

This unprecedented dialogue focused on global challenges, issues in the Euro-Mediterranean area and the public policies put in place by the European Union and its Member States to support balanced development on both sides of the Mediterranean.

UEMF plays a key role in training high-level professionals who are innovative and driven by the values of tolerance, openness and excellence in creativity and innovation. It trains the next generation of executives able to face the myriad challenges of sustainable development.

2022 is the European Year of Youth, highlighting the efforts made by the European Union, EU Member States and regional and local authorities to honour, support and engage with young people in the post-pandemic world. The EU Youth Strategy aims in particular to promote young people’s participation in democratic life and to support their social and civic engagement, while also ensuring that all have the resources they need to be active members of society.

Since 2016, the European Union and the EIB have been working with the Moroccan government to support the development of UEMF with excellent teaching and research programmes. This EU assistance (MAD 58 million in donations, MAD 148 million in grants and a MAD 73.8 million loan) has made it possible to build and fit out the university’s eco-campus, which currently covers 40 hectares and hosts 2 370 students of 32 different nationalities. In 2026, UEMF is expected to host more than 6 000 students from all walks of life. The EU assistance not only enables UEMF to offer excellent teaching with a high quality research hub, but also to offer access to the most deserving students by supporting the university’s scholarship policy.

EU Ambassador to Morocco Patricia Llombart said: “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to visit the Euromed University of Fes and to talk with its students alongside my fellow ambassadors to Morocco from EU Member States, and the EIB. UEMF is a concrete example of our partnership to support young people. Our contribution with the EIB not only aims to develop excellent teaching, but also provides support for granting scholarships to the most deserving students. We are pleased to see the number of scholarship students is increasing every year, ensuring that this place of excellence is also inclusive.”

“We are pleased to be back at UEMF, where each visit enables us to rediscover the students, ever-expanding facilities and sheer dynamism of this university, which is unique in the region,” said EIB Representative in Morocco Anna Barone. “The university’s inclusion in several global rankings speaks to its commitment to excellence. We are proud to help strengthen the provision and quality of teaching and research in Morocco.”

“We were delighted and honoured to welcome the Ambassador of the European Union to Morocco and several EU Member State ambassadors. This visit shows the European Union’s interest in our university, which is seeking to strengthen academic and cultural links between Morocco and the EU and to promote intercultural dialogue, exchange and cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean,” added UEMF President Professor Mostapha Bousmina.

* The ambassadors present for the visit were:

HE Robert Dölger: Germany

HE Véronique Petit: Belgium

HE Jesper Kammersgaard: Denmark

HE Jasna Mileta: Croatia

HE James McIntyre: Ireland

Borja Montesino: Minister-Counsellor, Spain

HE Jeroen Roodenburg: Netherlands

HE Miklos Tromler: Hungary

Raphaël Martin de Lagarde: Minister-Counsellor, France

HE Armando Barucco: Italy

HE Maria Ciobanu: Romania

HE Anne Höglund: Sweden

HE Ladislav Skerik: Czech Republic

Background information

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The EIB has been a key partner for Morocco for 40 years. It finances the development and implementation of important projects in vital sectors of the Moroccan economy such as business support, agriculture, water and sanitation, education, health, transport and even renewable energy.

EIB Global is the EIB Group’s new specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance. It is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions, and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices across the world.

https://twitter.com/EIBGlobal

https://www.linkedin.com/company/eib-global/

Delegation of the European Union to Morocco

Morocco and the European Union have maintained relations for over half a century. The foundations of this partnership have been steadily strengthened. The most recent example of this is the European Union’s political commitment to support the Moroccan government’s important efforts to combat COVID-19. The European Union and Morocco are committed to supporting the post-COVID-19 recovery with a transition to a more sustainable society and consumption patterns; stronger ambition to combat climate change; human development and good governance; the promotion of the economic opportunities of a greener and cleaner economy; and the development of regional cooperation.

Euromed University of Fes (UEMF)

Under the honorary chairmanship of its founder His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the Euromed University of Fes (UEMF), a non-profit public benefit institution, is a centre of excellence and outreach offering innovative teaching and research programmes. Students and teachers of over 40 different nationalities ensure that UEMF is a place rich in interactions. Positioned in an exceptional location, the UEMF eco-campus has been designed in accordance with the highest international standards and sustainable development guidelines. It has a COP22 label and currently covers 40 hectares, which will eventually be expanded to around 100 hectares.

UEMF is a multidisciplinary university structured around three major sections:

1.      Engineering and Architecture section: with the Euromed Schools of Architecture, Design and Urban Planning (EMADU), the School of Digital Engineering and Artificial Intelligence (EIDIA), the Euromed Polytechnic School (EPS), and INSA Euro-Mediterranean.

2.      Human and Social Sciences section: including the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, the Euromed Institute of Legal and Political Sciences and Euromed Business School.

3.      Health and Pharmacy section: covering the Euromed Faculty of Pharmacy and the BiomedTech Engineering School.

UEMF also has state-of-the-art research infrastructure with the country’s largest 3-D printing platform and around 60 machines, some built by UEMF engineers and researchers. It has the country’s largest digital university platform, and the first engineering school in the Euro-Mediterranean area and Africa to be fully dedicated to artificial intelligence. It is also implementing the Fes-Smart Factory project — unprecedented and unique in Africa — to guide the digital transition of our industries via the design of prototypes based on industry 4.0 principles, using artificial intelligence, big data, deep learning, virtual reality, robotics and cobotics.

In addition, UEMF has created a think tank focused on the issues of the Euro-Mediterranean-Africa region — RIEMAS (Research Institute on European, Mediterranean & African Studies) — which regularly organises events and conducts research, analysis and reflections on the Europe-Mediterranean-Africa geographical-historical continuum.

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