In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the EU has awarded an extra grant of MAD 5.4 million to the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes for the purchase of IT and laboratory equipment. Thanks to this support, the University has been able to ensure the continued education of its scholarship students and produce protective medical equipment.
The European Union (EU) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) – already partners of the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes (UEMF) development project – have jointly supported two innovative and inclusive UEMF initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This grant has provided 422 scholarship students with a personal laptop and a 4G modem on a one-year plan so that they can continue their university classes remotely. Based on criteria of excellence, social inclusion and gender, merit-based scholarships are awarded to students of good standing from modest-income households.
With this EU support, the University has also acquired 3D printers that are able to produce between 500 and 1 000 reusable protective medical masks and disposable filters a week, which have been successfully tested in accordance with international health standards. The masks and filters are mainly for Fes University Hospital.
This donation of equipment is an example of the values of innovation and inclusion that drive UEMF and underpin the fruitful partnership between the EU and Morocco. In keeping with the University’s tradition of openness, this initiative has enabled UEMF to ensure the continued education of its students, despite the lockdown and physical distance between staff and students. It has also strengthened the positioning of the University, which offers excellence in teaching that focuses on improving the skills of Moroccans and the employability of young graduates in the country in strategic industries, such as engineering, advanced technology, green economy, renewable energy and artificial intelligence.
This initiative is in line with the EU’s rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic – targeting Europe, its neighbours and its partners – to limit the health and social impacts and support medical research. The EIB and the EU are pleased to be building on their existing two-year partnership with UEMF, through which they are providing almost 50% of the financing for the construction of its eco-campus. On top of this, the EU has supported the University’s scholarship policy since 2016, while teaching staff have developed strong relationships with several prestigious European universities.
About the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes (UEMF):
The Euro-Mediterranean University of Fes promotes intercultural dialogue, exchange and cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean-African area, while conducting high-level training and research. Its students and research lecturers work in a dynamic environment covering 32 nationalities.
About EU and EIB support to Morocco in response to the pandemic:
The EIB has approved a EUR 70 million loan to support the EuroMed University of Fes (UEMF). The loan represents a substantial contribution to the construction of the UEMF’s eco-campus. It will consolidate the regional dimension of the University, whose principal vocation is to build academic, scientific and intercultural bridges between the two shores of the Mediterranean.
During his official visit to Morocco, EIB Vice-President Román Escolano, responsible for the Bank’s activities in the Maghreb, signed two large-scale financing operations totalling EUR 150m to support the private and higher education sectors in Morocco.
Mohamed Benchaaboun, the Moroccan Minister of Economy, Finance and Administration Reform, and Emma Navarro, Vice-President of the EIB, today announced the release of €100 million to finance the Kingdom of Morocco’s most urgent requirements as it deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first payment of an overall financing package worth €200 million.