Articles

Introducing Sustainability to Moroccan Universities

on 30 April 2013.

Integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) across all functions of Universities was the focus of the national training held in Morocco on 23-24 April 2013 within the framework of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme. The training contributed directly to the implementation of the principles of the Mediterranean Strategy on ESD, which is currently in the pipeline and expected to be adopted at a Ministerial Meeting in October 2013. The President of the Mohamed V Souissi University, Prof. Radouane Mrabet stated “I had attended the Horizon 2020 regional workshop on revisiting university curricula in 2010 in Athens, which was an eye-opening experience for me. Today I am truly delighted to be hosting such a workshop in Morocco, as I believe our universities still have a long way to go to achieve sustainability. This workshop is a unique opportunity to share our knowledge and exchange information on experiences and best practices from the region and beyond”.The two-day workshop entitled “Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in the University: Theory and Practice” was attended by more than 40 academics and administrators from nine out of the 14 Moroccan Universities. The workshop succeeded in building the capacities of a nucleus of leaders of Moroccan academia in order to effectively integrate the components of the ‘Sustainable University’ into their own institutions. These elements include the curriculum; the educational culture and practice; internal governance and relations with the society; and finally the greening of campuses. The workshop also featured the concept of the “Whole Institute Approach”, a broad range of ESD best practices from the Mediterranean region and beyond, as well as the Mediterranean Strategy on ESD.

The workshop came at an ideal time in view of the expected adoption of the Mediterranean Strategy on ESD at ministerial level in October 2013 under the auspices of Prince Albert of Monaco. The adoption of the MSESD will be a cornerstone for the region within the framework of the UN Decade of ESD (2005-2014), which was further consolidated during the recent Rio+20 Conference (UNCSD).

Since 2011, Horizon 2020 has contributed systematically to the Strategy. The first step was made with the formulation of the Strategy’s second draft at a regional H2020 training on Revisiting University Curricula in Athens, Greece.

The Moroccan training was an additional step in the process of elaboration, contributing to the wide dissemination of the Strategy in the country. Most importantly, the skills accumulated by participants will be essential when, after its official adoption, the Strategy will have to be implemented on the ground.  The Strategy will be finalised in Croatia in June 2013 during a regional H2020 workshop with international ESD experts together with official representatives of Ministries of Environment and Education from several Mediterranean countries.

The workshop in Morocco was organized by the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) and the University of Athens (NKUA) with the support of the University Mohamed V Souissi (Rabat). Details on the training are available at: http://www.h2020.net/en/resources/training-materials/viewcategory/247.html