Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Spotlights


NEASC Accreditation Celebration: The Round Table on Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

To finish the day of festivities, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane organized a round table, the topic of conversation of which was the place of quality assurance in higher education. The round table itself was staffed by Dr. Driss Ouaouicha, Dr. Barbara Brittingham, Mr. Larbi Belarbi, and Mrs. Amina Benkhadra, and was moderated by Dr. Wafae ElGarah. There were other attendees, including Al Akhawayn University students, faculty, staff, both current and former executives, former directors, partners, and higher education representatives from both the public and the private sectors.

The aim of the round table was to re-establish what accreditation means within AUI in order to look towards the future. It was agreed that while it is easy to oversimplify accreditation by conflating it with a mere state of being, it is much more than a mere certification. As Dr. ElGarah stated, accreditation “allows us to develop a culture—a culture of excellence, a culture of quality where everyone is constantly looking at ways to better improve his or her work” (ElGarah). Thus, while accreditation is the recognition of the institution’s excellence, it simultaneously provides that same institution with the tools to reach even higher: to do more.

This sentiment was echoed by Dr. Thomas W. Keef, President of Dallas University. Rather than thinking of accreditation as an end, Dr. Keef entreated the University officials to view it as a beginning. “Don’t allow yourself to become self-satisfied,” Dr. Keef told officials, “Now that you’ve reach accreditation. […] Be your own best competition […] you are more self-aware of who you are now: take that, and build on that.”

With the conclusion of the quality assurance round table, the Institutional Accreditation Day came to a close. As it ended, so too did a chapter of AUI’s history, but while the chapter is done, the book is far from finished.

Liam Reilly



Going Pro: Olympian Athletes

The AUI Frisbee team goes to Miami for to represent Morocco in the World's Collegiate Championship, while also being offered the chance to play in the first-ever Frisbee Olympics.

Moroccans Programmed for Success

After 20 years, Al Akhawayn University finally qualifies for the International ACM ICPC '18 in China after ranking 12th of 104, and earning the Maghreb Region Champion Plate in the ACPC.

Demographic Dividend & Economic Development in Arab Countries


The demographic dividend is the window of opportunity provided by changes in the age structure of a population. It occurs because of the decline of both fertility and mortality rates. Data from the World Bank are used for descriptive statistics, regression analyzes with and without robust standard-errors, in addition to performing Granger-Causality tests. The results indicate that estimated time trends for fertility and mortality are significantly decreasing for Arab countries. Findings also indicate that the demographic dividend has occurred in the recent decade in most of Arab countries except for Egypt. This paper shows also the causal links between the dependency ratio (change in the population age structure) and the working age population, unemployment, economic development, government and private expenditures on health and education, education, and female participation in education variables.

Published as MPRA_paper_82880, MPRA, November 23, 2017

By: Tahar Harkat and Ahmed Driouchi, Institute of Economic Analysis and Prospective Studies (IEAPS), Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco

Keywords: Demographic Dividend, Arab Countries, Granger Causality.

JEL: J11-J13-O11.


Al Akhawayn University Partners with the University of Dallas

AUI's President Ouaouicha and Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui recently visited the University of Dallas Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business to mark the beginning of a new relationship. The two universities have begun to collaborate on a new international program in the hopes of educating students, and strengthening ties.