Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - MED2IaH


Mediterranean Countries - Towards Internationalization at Home (MED2IaH)

  • Duration: 3 Years
  • Budget: 999.888,00 Euros
  • Partner Countries: 
    • EU: Slovenia, France, Spain, Italy
    • South-Mediterranean: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan
  • Project Leader at AUI: Dr. Karim Moustaghfir


Rationale & strategic goals: The concept of Internationalization at Home (IaH) is built around the assumption that for various reasons a large number of students in higher education do not have access to international mobility opportunities and are therefore deprived from global learning, knowledge, and skills. Through the process of internationalization and expansion of knowledge networks across boundaries, higher education becomes the “industry of the future” in the new economy where human capital and innovative knowledge production are crucial for economic performance.

The MED2IaH project is first and foremost designed to have an impact at the system level inside partner universities to facilitate the integration of international and intercultural dimensions into both formal and informal curriculum for all the students within domestic learning environments (domains of curriculum, teaching and learning, extra-curricular activities etc.). Such integration is expected to generate better opportunities for cross-cultural learning, the adoption of international quality standards, and the extension of international relationships while strengthening collaboration ties with other institutions abroad.

At the national level in partner Mediterranean countries, policy-makers will benefit from various experiences inside participating higher education institutions to engage in evidence-based modernization processes of higher education in line with the reforms that are taking place in each country. Managers and other stakeholders in the sector of higher education, through the expertise gained from the MED2IaH project, are expected to better contribute to the ongoing reform processes in their respective countries and to articulate specific internationalization needs to support national policy development.


Innovative added-value:  MED2IaH project is built around the concept of IaH that reframes the traditional practice of internationalization in HE while shifting the focus from outbound mobility to systematic institutional efforts aimed at improving the global skills of all the students in domestic environments. This represents a paradigm shift and introduces an egalitarian community spirit where internationalization is no longer a privilege for a few students but an asset that benefits all the students. The project also develops a holistic approach encompassing a combination of diverse but complementary intervention measures into HE formal and informal curriculum. Practices and activities including students’ Camps, friends Teahouses, and stakeholders’ Networks contribute to the university experience of all the students and help them develop global skills. The project emphasizes the value of extra-curricular and experiential learning as being much important as the knowledge gained in formal settings to foster the students’ international knowledge.


Specific objectives: The MED2IaH project aims to:

    1. Map out the internationalization landscapes in each partner institution and identify levels of integration of international and intercultural dimensions into formal and informal curriculum.
    2. Improve internationalization capabilities through staff training while translating general awareness of the IaH practice into streamlined institutional strategies and action plans. Focus should be on how to integrate both outbound mobility with virtual mobility and on-campus intercultural engagement for better students’ employability.
    3. Build students’ intercultural knowledge and their sensitivity to cultural diversity while contributing to reshaping International Relations Offices (IROs) to become vibrant multicultural focal points (e.g., large-scale international collaborations, scope and quality of international partnerships, participation in EU mobility schemes and large-scale research programs, infrastructure to support campus diversity and assist international students etc.)



  • WP1: In this preparatory phase two tasks will be performed:
    1. In-depth analysis and assessment of the current national framework for internationalization in partner countries.
    2. A detailed comparative study on existing national policies for internationalization and research in partner countries.
  • WP2: This phase is based on the concept of the “university integrative function”, which seeks to find solutions able to benefit all fields, sectors, and actors. University Working Groups (UWGs) will be established, involving academics, administrative staff and students. Study visits to EU partner universities and designed IaH Webinars will help UWGs to gain good practices in relation to internationalization models in HE.
  • WP3: In this phase training visits of research and administrative staff will be organized to enhance university capacities to participate in large-scale international collaborations, particularly from a project management perspective.
  • WP4: This phase intends to foster each institution’s intercultural environment and allows partner universities to introduce international dimensions into informal curriculum through setting up multicultural hubs, including Teahouses, Digital Storytelling contests, Boot Camps etc.
  • WP5: This transversal activity covers the project’s quality assurance and evaluation strategies, while defining the criteria, methods, and reporting procedures.



  • Academics/researchers (curriculum development, design of double-degree study programs etc.)
  • Faculty (academic mobility programs, research activities etc.)
  • Students: university students (various study programs, including international students).
  • Administrative staff: top management, heads of International Relations Offices and Project Offices.
  • Others: policymakers, technical staff from the ministries of higher education and research etc.


Tangible results: The following results are expected to be achieved in each partner country:

  • Country profile on Internationalization of Higher Education
  • University strategy on internationalization of education and research
  • University action plan on Internationalization at Home
  • Set of recommendations for university research management and talent development
  • “Storytelling How-to” Manual
  • Guide for international students
  • Friends Teahouses (Intercultural hubs), including the code of conduct and calendar
  • Consolidated International Relations Offices and Project Offices
  • Recommendations for boosting the Internationalization of Higher Education at both the system and national levels.


List of partners:

  • EU:
    • Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI), Slovenia
    • European Policy Development and Research Institute (EDPRI), Slovenia
    • University of Montpellier (UM), France
    • Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM), Spain
    • Pegaso University (UniPegaso), Italy
  • South-Mediterranean:
    • Al Akhawayn University (AUI), Morocco
    • Euro-Mediterranean University of Fez (UEMF), Morocco
    • Université Moulay Ismail (UMI), Morocco
    • University of Tunis (UT), Tunisia
    • Virtual University of Tunis (UVT), Tunisia
    • Université Ezzitouna (UZ), Tunisia
    • Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development (HU), Egypt
    • South Valley University (SVU), Egypt
    • Philadelphia University (PU), Jordan
    • Luminus Technical University College (LTUC), Jordan
    • Lebanese International University (LIU), Lebanon
    • International University of Beirut (BIU), Lebanon


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