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Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI) Celebrates its Class of '20, '21, and '22 Graduates

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Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI) Celebrates its Class of '20, '21, and '22 Graduates

Ifrane, June 11, 2022- Mr. Abdellatif Jouahri and Dr. Amine Bensaid, in their capacities as Chancellor-Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of Al Akhawayn University, respectively, as well as the chairmen of committees of the Board of Directors of University, held a press briefing this Saturday in Ifrane on June 11, 2022. The chairmen present included Mr. Larbi Belarbi, President of the Academic Committee, Mr. Mohamed El Kettani, President of the Development Committee, and Mr. Karim Mounir, Chairman of the Finance & Budget Committee. This meeting was an opportunity to discuss Al Akhawayn University's 2020-2025 strategic plan and its execution in an extraordinary health context. Chancellor M. Jouahri and President Dr. Bensaid notably detailed the development objectives linked to this plan; it is first of all to aim for the influence of the University in Africa and the Middle East, thanks in particular to its model centered on the American liberal arts system, while being deeply rooted in its Moroccan identity. Another important objective of this plan is the growth of student numbers while strengthening the quality of the latter, taking into consideration that the University receives 4 times more applications than available places. The latter responds to a strong desire to train the greatest number of young Moroccans to the best international standards and offer access to AUI to all Moroccan social classes, through the establishment of mechanisms for financing scholarships. The major upheavals imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have led Al Akhawayn University to redefine its strategic priorities by accelerating its digital transformation and by implementing distance learning technologies to provide students with an experience of optimal learning. To do this, the university has accredited its distance learning system by the most prestigious American accreditation agency, NECHE (the New England Commission for Higher Education), which accredits, among others, the universities of Harvard and MIT. 


Mr. Abdellatif Jouahri, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the University, declared that "this year, we celebrate the resilience, agility, and excellence of these students, who have been able to adapt to an extreme and succeed in their studies. We also salute the management of the pandemic by Al Akhawayn University, which has been exemplary. The Board of Directors, the President of the University, his collaborators, and of course, his students, have demonstrated a great capacity for adaptation and innovation. The adoption and deployment of hybrid and distance learning technology, which has been the subject of one of the most demanding certifications in the world (NECHE), the training of the teaching staff, and the establishment of a health crisis management, having avoided any form of Cluster within the University, are just as many examples of good management of this crisis, which we hope to be behind us”. 

Dr. Amine Bensaid added, “Our biggest challenge has been to ensure the continuity of our teaching while maintaining their quality and placing the well-being of our students at the center of our thoughts and actions. According to our internal studies, more than 85% of our students have a positive perception linked to the quality of teaching and online learning carried out by National and International Professionals, as well as a whole battery of actions aimed at offering the best possible university experience. The greatest credit naturally goes to our students and teachers, who have shown remarkable resilience and commitment.” 

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AUI's graduation ceremony inaugurates the implementation of the new generation of innovations that Al Akhawayn University has developed to capitalize on the dizzying speed of change in the job market and all the opportunities that the new generation is able to create. Al Akhawayn University has developed an approach allowing the student to manage their orientations and employment opportunities or entrepreneurial projects in an integrated manner. This is materialized, among other things, by the launch of several work-study programs, in collaboration with leading Moroccan and international companies such as Alstom, Leyton, and DACHSER Logistics, and by a double-mentoring system: by managers and by peers (including other successful students). In concrete terms, with an employability rate of 85% already, this new strategy aims, over a 3-year period, to guarantee that students involved in this program will obtain three job offers or a start-up project before they leave the University. The results of this first year are very promising, since the institution is approaching 50% of outgoing graduates who have obtained at least one job offer before the end of this academic year. On the Entrepreneurship side, Al Akhawayn University has developed a startup incubation platform. The incubator adopts all the codes of the largest international platforms by offering high-level coaching and mentoring, provided by top Moroccan and international managers, as well as financing channels through Moroccan and North American "Ventures Capital". 

It aims to establish the right environments for AUI students and faculty to collaborate with national and international investors to meet local needs. 

AUI students involved in this program benefit from the expertise of teams from institutions sitting on its board of directors, such as BANQUE AL Maghrib, Banque Populaire, Attijariwafa Bank, CDG, CIH Bank, Crédit Agricole du Maroc, Maroc Telecom, and OCP, as well as AUI partner companies, such as DACHSER Logistics, Alstom, Leyton, DEVOTEAM AFRICA, Maroc Numérique Cluster, HPS, Bank of Africa, and UN Migration. 

Additionally, Al Akhawayn University is in the process of NECHE reaccreditations, which declared that Al Akhawayn University, although only 27 years old, is ready for a new phase of excellence. After an 18-month process, the commission in charge of the AUI file recently made a visit to Morocco as planned. This reaccreditation process will be completed by the end of the year.