Each year, many Moroccan students choose to continue their post-secondary education in foreign countries, most frequently in Europe.
As of 2022, Moroccans studying in foreign countries are estimated to surpass 100,000 students with France being the main destination, followed by Germany and Spain.
Free for Moroccans
With many countries charging tuition fees to non-European students, leading education search platform Erudera.com, conducted thorough research on countries that offer low to free tuition fees for Moroccan international students.
According to data provided by the platform, countries such as the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Iceland, and Norway all offer free tuition to Moroccan students under certain conditions.
Germany has recorded an increase in the number of Moroccan students choosing it as a destination for their education. Data compiled by Studying-in-Germany.org documented the 54% rise from 4,012 to 6,195 students registered in the 2020-2021 winter semester.
Choosing where to study
However, moving further afield has also become popular in recent years as Canada and the United States are go-to destinations for post-secondary studies.
According to the latest report released by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Moroccans top the list of foreign students registered in the French education system with 46,371 students.
The number of Moroccans choosing France has increased by 22% from 2016-2021 and by 3% from 2020-2021. Moroccan students tend to choose France for the quality of the education, the relatively low tuition fees in public universities, and the familiarity with the language, considering Morocco is a francophonie.
Studying in European countries usually attracts students who are drawn to a specific area of specialization or the ones who want to pursue an advanced track of scientific research, which is an underdeveloped area in Morocco
The most popular fields of study are engineering, business, law, and health sciences. Showcasing the student's dedication Moroccans are said to be passing with flying colors and getting into the best schools abroad.
Financing the big move
Choosing the right university is not a decision someone can take lightly. A lot of variables come to mind amid the decision such as the cost of living, the possibility of working while studying, and the post-graduation visa duration.
The cost of living is estimated the highest in Iceland at €1,400 per month. Followed by Finland, where it ranges between €700 and €1,300. Whereas Germany and Norway's living costs fall around €800-900. The cheapest cost of living varies between €300 - €650 in the Czech Republic.
While pursuing their degrees in European countries, students are allowed to work a full-time job for 120 days or part-time for 240 half days in Germany. In some cases, the country fixes the number of hours an international student can legally work: it is up to 20 hours per week in Norway, 30 hours per week in Finland, and 15 hours per week during the academic year in Iceland.
Post-grad work visas allow students to stay in the country for a time period that is regulated by the government. The longest duration is offered by Finland where students can remain in the country for two years post-graduation. Followed by Germany, where the duration is about 18 months. In Norway, the post-grad visa duration is set to one year whilst, for the Czech Republic, it is up to nine months. Whereas, the shortest time period is about 6 months in Iceland.
Starting fall 2023, Norway is considering the introduction of tuition fees for international students but the decision is yet to be finalized.
While some Moroccans choose to stay abroad after completing their studies, many of them strive to return to their home country where they can use the knowledge they acquired abroad in helping the country grow and flourish.