World Scholarship

Why do our universities struggle to rise to the next level?

The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities has been published and as usual Moroccan universities appear on the list, however, they are still poorly ranked. Indeed, eight Moroccan institutions have won a place in the ranking of the best universities in the world, including Cadi Ayyad who ranks first among the best universities in Morocco and the Maghreb, 19 in Africa, 18 in the Arab world and 1154 in the world. It is followed by Mohammed V University, which ranked 33rd in Africa, 40th in the Arab world, and 1,668 globally.

This means that the best Moroccan universities are striving to be ranked among the most successful African institutions. These results support the Times Higher Education (THE) University Rankings, which are one of the most prestigious international rankings in the field.

In this measure that takes into account specific scientific criteria such as the quality of teaching, scientific research, knowledge transfer or international openness, the University of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah ranked first between 1000 and 801. Weakness of scientific research in Morocco is the main reason for this poor performance.

Unlike other emerging countries that aspire to a knowledge society, Morocco allocates only 0.75% of its GDP to scientific research. Financing “too timid” to produce a good business capable of adding value to society. “Morocco’s efforts to fund scientific research that has been reduced to GDP are very low,” according to the National Authority for Evaluation of the Education, Training and Scientific Research System (CSEFRS), which in April published a report titled “Scientific and Technological Research in Morocco.”

“This percentage is only 0.75% even though the strategic vision for the reform 2030-2015 has already recommended in 2015 to reach 1% in the short term, 1.5% in 2025 and 2% in 2030,” she said, adding that “ And the state remains the main provider of financial resources for research.” However, advocating the projects mechanism does not seem to be the priority to make the most of the available funding resources, to converge, translate and present the priorities and options of the national research strategy.

In addition to finance and human resources…

Although scientific research is of great importance, especially in the process of community development, the human capital allocated to it is still very limited. The latter, which must be qualified and productive, is about 1508 per million inhabitants of Morocco.

“Morocco, along with South Africa, is less endowed with human resources devoted to scientific research compared to the total population,” according to CSEFRS, knowing that the Strategic Vision for the 2015-2030 reform called in its recommendations to employ 15,000 teachers and researchers by 2030, with the aim of strengthening research structures. Now, even human capital regulation leaves something to be desired.

Although scientific research is an activity undertaken by many institutions and actors, namely higher education institutions outside the university, universities in a public-private partnership, private universities, or even public institutions research, public universities are the largest provider of human resources. Himself. A result was also noted in the Hassan II Academy of Sciences and Technology report on the human resources component of 2016. “Depending on the type of institution, (this result) shows that 77% of these employees are at the level of public universities,” the report said.

What about merit award?

To encourage Baccalaureate 5+ holders to opt for a PhD, Morocco awards Research Excellence Scholarships. Scholarships allocated to those who deserve it, which do not exceed 3000 dirhams.

In fact, an analysis of the PhD course conducted by the National Institute of Statistics in 2017 shows that the dropout rate is 32.7% for the entire period 2004-2013. This amounts to 41.4% if we limit ourselves to the analysis period -20042010. The amount is still below the Kingdom’s aspirations in terms of research. It’s just over a third of the civil service salary for a master’s graduate (or engineer), and barely equivalent to one and a half times the minimum wage in Morocco for a talented PhD student after 5 years of study. Superior. Besides, the efficiency of the PhD course is no better than that of the upstream one. The ratio of the number of doctoral theses defended to the number of doctoral students is very low (5.7% in 2017), compared to other countries.

For example, in France, four out of ten doctoral students obtain their doctorate every two years, while in Tunisia this percentage is much better. Even this percentage for Morocco decreased between 2014 and 2017.

For Minister Responsible Abdellatif Miraoui, who is working on a reform project, the concern of the Moroccan university is a question of funding. The minister has repeatedly expressed his desire to focus on training a new generation of doctors and researchers according to international standards. All this to ensure a minimum level of quality in the features of future researchers who should raise the level of scientific research. While waiting for repair, fair winds.

About the author


Leave a Comment