MOROCCO - Health & Education
President, Mundiapolis University
Mohammed Barkaoui, currently the President of Mundiapolis University, has chaired the Hassan II University of Casablanca, headed the Higher School of Technology of Casablanca, and the Higher National School of Electricity and Mechanics of Engineers. He was the former secretary general of the Hassan II Mosque Foundation. He holds a PhD in physical sciences and is an engineer of industrial processes. He founded and chaired several associations in the fields of quality, entrepreneurship, and capacity building of associations and cooperatives. He is also a member of the alumni association of CNRS and Rotary Casablanca City.
What have been some landmarks for Mundiapolis since its establishment in 2009?
Mundiapolis came about in 2009 by the merging of its existing independent schools, and the various disciplines were gathered into one campus. Morocco’s main objective is to build a strong system that can generate high-level human resources in order to participate and contribute to the country’s development, and the private sector is considered as important partner to achieve this objective. The private sector helped kick start opportunities in this vision. In 2015, Mundiapolis launched its health sciences school and in 2016 joined the first pan-African network of private higher education institutions Honoris United Universities.
What are the strengths of private education in Morocco?
The private and the public sectors are both responsible for developing education in Morocco. Our goal is to achieve 20% enrollment in private higher education. This expectation is almost reached for primary and secondary education; however, for higher education, this figure is under 7%. The authorities consider that the biggest investment is in the training of human resources. I believe that many innovations and projects go in this direction. Likewise, today it is quite possible to study medicine in private universities, which was unimaginable before the 2000s. Education is a public service where quality comes first and can be delivered by either the private or public sector. The ministry encouraged the creation of public establishments, but also of establishments known as partners with public establishments having the statute of non-profit foundation with private management. A new law on higher education has just been ratified with multi-year program contracts signed between the ministry and public and private universities. The objective is to consolidate the strength of both private and public sectors by developing the quality insurance and achieving the key performance indicators set.
What are your goals and expectations for the rest of the year and for 2022?
As a multidisciplinary university, we offer training programs in engineering, management, law, political, and medical sciences; our goals for development based on continuous improvement consist namely, in consolidating and strengthening our information systems to develop study programs, research and governance. Before and during the pandemic, we also worked closely with the support of Honoris United Universities network in order to improve our service to students and teachers. The improvement of our services has notably taken place in the digital field, thanks to a strong investment which has allowed for great improvement in the quality of our training. We also maintain close contact with the ministry, which intends to step up a gear in terms of information systems. We are, in fact, ahead in this aspect, owing to the multiplicity of our electronic communication channels, although there are still improvements to be made. Particularly, we can improve the website’s social networks. That was the first point. The second point is the teaching itself, namely the pedagogy, which is constantly evolving. New methods, such as the flipped classroom, have been developed that have brought about new possibilities for practical work and simulation. The future lies in further developing this approach at our universities. Implementing virtual and augmented reality platform has already developed well. This platform offers the pedagogy of tomorrow. We also consider ourselves fortunate to have the first pan-African network in higher education that supports soft skills and core skills, because these are in highest demand across the job market and in life in general. We base our teaching on learning. It is important that students understand that they will continue to evolve throughout their lives. This is the mission and vision of the university. Enrichment is further achieved through internationalization, which is why we maintain many partnerships in Europe and Africa. Our ambition is to provide graduates with a competitive advantage in the job market: a multicultural academic experience, a pan-African professional immersion coupled with student experience at international standards.