Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI) is a Moroccan institution of higher education and research, modeled in its administrative, pedagogical and academic organization on the American university system. The University was founded in 1993 by Morocco’s late king Hassan II, as an independent, coeducational, and residential institution, with undergraduate and graduate programs. AUI opened its doors to students in January 1995 on a beautiful 50-hectar campus in an oak forest, located in Ifrane, a small resort town in the Middle Atlas Mountains, home to the largest cedar forest in North Africa and corresponding to the most biologically diverse region in Morocco. AUI’s campus is 25 minutes from two ski slopes, a 2.5–hour drive from the capital city (Rabat) on the Atlantic coast; 6 hours from the Sahara Desert, and less than 1 hour from Fes and Meknes, two large imperial cities in Morocco.
AUI aims at promoting the historical and cultural vocation of Morocco, as an Arab-African nation belonging to the Islamic civilization, and open to Europe, America and Asia. The outlook at AUI is international, and cultural tolerance is promoted and expected of students, staff, and faculty belonging to many nationalities, living and working together. AUI also seeks to contribute to the attainment of Morocco’s educational and economic objectives, and to serve the international community, notably by advancing science and technology, training graduates with strong academic and professional qualifications, and developing research programs that live up to the highest international standards, with particular emphasis on areas of national or regional socio-economic interest.
Currently, AUI offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in three schools: Science & Engineering, Business Administration and Humanities & Social Sciences. While English is the language of instruction at AUI, the University also sets language requirements in Arabic and French, the official languages in Morocco. The majority of AUI students are full time and live on campus, which has an increasingly international character. The annual number of exchange students, primarily from the US, Europe and Asia, makes up about 10% of AUI’s student population. AUI runs over 40 partnership programs, including with Georgetown, UT-Austin, University of Washington, Bentley College, ESADE, ESSEC, Science Po – Paris, SUPELEC, Technical University of Munich, University of Osaka, etc. AUI students are encouraged to spend a semester or two as exchange students at these partner universities and colleges in various countries such as Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, and the US. International faculty (primarily from North America) constitute about 40% of AUI’s faculty body.
Academic life at AUI is rigorous but highly personalized; the student to faculty ratio is about 12 students for each full time faculty member, who also acts as an academic advisor. 87% of the faculty are full-time, and most hold Ph.D. or other doctoral degrees. The English academic resources at AUI’s library are among the best in Morocco and North Africa. The subscription to electronic collections has grown rapidly, with online access today to over 1 million full-text articles in more than 25,000 journals and 25 databases. For sports and entertainment on campus, AUI offers a gymnasium, an indoor Olympic-size swimming pool, a soccer field and three tennis courts. In addition, extensive weekly activities by over 40 student clubs and associations appeal to nearly any interest.
While AUI remains more focused on quality teaching and learning, research is playing an increasingly important role. The aim is not only to enhance student learning through research, but also to directly contribute to technology-based development in Morocco. AUI has grown its sponsored research funding 50 folds in the last seven years. The main areas of research at AUI’s School of Science & Engineering are in information and communication technologies for development, e-government, wireless technologies, embedded systems, data mining, biotechnologies, nano-technologies, and environmental technologies. Research focus at the School of Humanities & Social Science is on north-African, middle-east, Arab and Islamic studies. Finally, the School of Business Administration is active in the area of knowledge-based economic development, sustainable local development, operations research and emerging financial markets.
Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI)
P.O. Box 104, Hassan II Avenue
Tel.: +212 535 86 20 25
Fax: +212 535 56 71 46/42
Dr. Amine Bensaid, President
Tel.: +212 535 86 20 05
Fax: +212 535 56 71 42
Dr. Nizar Messari, VP for Academic Affairs
Tel: + 212 535 86 20 25
Fax: + 212 535 56 71 46