Morocco’s Minister of Higher Education Abdellatif Miraoui announced on Tuesday that his ministry has implemented a set of measures to reinforce the presence of the English language in the country’s institutions of higher education.
Miraoui stressed the importance of producing Moroccan university graduates who are equipped with the tools that will enable them to excel in their professional careers, especially proficiency in the English language. He also argued that Morocco’s effort toward implementing the English language would improve the country’s scientific research and higher education.
The Ministry of Higher Education has chosen three Moroccan universities to test language support programs through several platforms. The programs aim to help students reach the B1 and B 2 levels - intermediate and upper-intermediate languages levels.
Once the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of National Education, Pre-School, and Sports have agreed on a platform, Moroccan students will be able to benefit from language support programs from primary school, up to the university level. The language support programs will be taught 30% onsite and 70% remotely.
Starting from this school year, all freshmen will have to undergo diagnostic tests in both English and French, in order to determine their language skills, as well as track their progress throughout their university path. According to Miraoui, more than 20,000 first-year university students took diagnostic language tests in September.
Morocco’s Ministry of Higher Education has created new majors for the 2022-2023 school year that are taught exclusively in English, including 21 training programs in private and partner universities, ten licenses, seven master’s programs, and a Ph.D. program in medicine, Miraoui noted.
He added that several Moroccan universities have included new subjects that are taught in English, within their programs. This year, approximately 12,500 university students in Morocco will be taught at least one subject in English.
“We want to strengthen majors in English,” the minister stressed, adding that his ministry wants to give students the option of choosing university majors that are taught in English. The only Moroccan university that offered such programs was Al Akhaywayn University in Ifrane, he noted, hoping that the rest of Morocco’s institutions of higher education would follow the lead.
Miraoui stressed the importance of having a cohort of Moroccan university graduates who can easily and fluently speak Arabic, English, and French. Mastering these three languages would provide students with the tools necessary to face challenges in the job market, he argued.
Miraoui noted that starting from this school year, Ph.D. candidates will have to provide TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and DALF (Advanced Diploma in French Language) to prove their mastery of the French and English languages. “In order to become university professors, they [Ph.D. students] need to have expertise” in several areas, such as linguistic and digital skills, Miraoui stressed.
Morocco’s gradual shift toward reinforcing English learning across k-12 and higher education was largely encouraged by several Moroccans, who argue that English teaching will broaden Moroccan students’ opportunities and knowledge.