Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Spotlights


Dr. Cavalli-Sforza Recognized for Data Science Research

Dr. Violetta Cavalli-Sforza presented a keynote speech at the International Conference on Smart Systems and Data (ICSSD’19) on October 3 and 4, 2019. Held at L’Ecole des Sciences de l’Information (ESI) in Rabat, the conference is an international forum for the exchange of original research about data science. Dr. Violetta Cavalli-Sforza's talk was entitled "Supporting Human Intelligence and Learning with Moderately Intelligent Tools.” Working at AUI since 2008, she serves as an Associate Professor of Computer Science in the School of Science and Engineering.  

In addition to her keynote talkDr. Cavalli-Sforza collaborated with Ph.D. students to write papers that were recently accepted to two conferences“Imikode: A VR Game to Introduce OOP Concepts” was accepted at the 19th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research. The conference will be held November 21-24, 2019 in Koli, Finland. The 4th International Workshop on E-Learning & Innovative Pedagogies (E-LIP’19) and the Fourth International Conference on Big Data and Internet of Things (BDIoT’19) accepted Dr. Cavalli-Sforza's paper MoSAR: Modern Standard Arabic Readability Corpus for L1 Learners.” These conferences will take place October 23-24, 2019 in Tangier-Tetuan, Morocco. 

Over 200 Blood Donors Participate in This Year's Blood Drive

AUI’s Health Center, in collaboration with Rotaract Club, SAO, and the Ministry of Health (Centre de Transfusion Sanguine à Rabat), spearheaded a blood drive on September 23-25. Over the course of three days, 216 students, faculty, and staff gathered outdoors at AUI to donate blood. Al Akhawayn is so appreciative of all of the community members who willingly donated. 


SSE Professors Attend a Training and Project Meeting at the Technical University of Hamburg

SSE facultyDr. Mhammed Chraibi and Dr. Ahmed Khallaayoun, attended week-long training from Sept. 16 to Sept. 20 on the latest developments of Smart Grids at the Technical University of Hamburg.   

The focus of the training was twofold. First, the meeting highlighted the energy and electricity challenges that Germany is facing now and in the future, along with the current research aimed at solving these challenges.  The training covered important topics like Energy Sector coupling and Power to X. The second focus of the training was related to new teaching methods in STEM. Top experts in the field presented flipped classrooms and e-learning techniques. After each day of training from Sept. 23 to Sept. 25, AUI faculty attended the bi-annual AT-SGIRES Erasmus+ project meeting where they discussed project progress and actions points. On the last day of the project meeting, a dissemination event was programmed where different accreditation approaches in Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East were discussed.   

For more information about the AT-SGIRES project, please visit: 

AUI Wins 1st Place in Household Electrical Appliances Monitoring Contest at the Solar Decathalon Africa

AUI’s DarnaSol team won first place in the Household Electrical Appliances Monitoring contest at the Solar Decathalon Africa – an international, collegiate competition for green buildings. The DarnaSol model encompasses a holistic lifestyle system, based around specific environments, target occupants, and sustainable goals. The team’s innovative designs are paving the way for a sustainable future in Morocco and Africa as a whole. 

First High School in Morocco to Teach Moroccan History in English

The Al Akhawayn School of Ifrane (ASI) is offering a new, year-long course on Moroccan History in Grade 11 as part of its Social Studies curriculum.  Although the concept of teaching Moroccan History in ASI’s high school was first introduced in 2013, it was only done in combination with World History courses. This academic year is the first time it will be taught in one consolidated course, making it the first of its kind in any school in Morocco that uses English as its primary language of instruction.

This course offers the large Moroccan student-body at ASI the opportunity to gain a better understanding of their identities in an increasingly globalized world. Through the course, ASI also seeks to equip its foreign students with deeper insight into the country where they live. The course spans over 3,000 years of Morocco’s past – starting with the pre-Islamic Era from Phoenicians, Romans, and Vandals until the Muslim Conquest by the Umayyad dynasty in the seventh century.  The course goes on to analyze Muslim dynasties by tracing the changes that occurred over time up until European Colonialism, followed by Moroccan independence and the modern era.

Nationally, the majority of international schools that are comparable to ASI teach British or American histories instead of Moroccan history. The unique status of ASI as a primarily Moroccan school that employs a North-American pedagogy enables for the flexibility of teaching local histories, while also meeting required international standards.

ASI thanks Ms. Hiam El Hiliali for her pivotal role in realizing this achievement.