Conference Programme

Monday, 24 April


Pre-conference workshop:  Lessons learned from collaborative doctoral education


Setting the stage


Master of Ceremonies: Nadia Motii, Head of International Relations, University Mohammed V


Research responding to local needs in the context of global grand/societal challenges 

  • Adnan Badran, Professor and Chancellor  University of Petra; President of the Board of Trustees, University of Jordan   

Science Diplomacy in Arab-Euro relations

  • Tuomo Melasuo, Tampere Peace Research Institute -Mediterranean Studies -, U. Tampere (Finland) / UNIMED




tuesday, 25 April

9.00 – 10.15


Organisers and high level authorities

  • Welcome to AECHE 4 (Saaïd Amzazi, President, University Mohammed V; Sultan Abu Orabi, Secretary General, AarU; Lesley Wilson, Secretary General, EUA; Ramon Torrent, U. Barcelona and Head of the AECHE Secretariat)
  • Opening speech by His Excellency  Mohamed Hassad, Minister for Higher Education, Vocational Training and Scientific Research  of Morocco (TBC) 
  • Opening speech by Mme. Christina Russo, Director for International Cooperation, European Commission, Directorate General for Research and Innovation


Coffee Break – Photo


Session 1: University research and society: the benefits

Research is a central mission of universities but not all universities can become research-intensive. Research contributes to the advancement of knowledge as well as serving national and local innovation; it is also a determining factor for the quality of university education. Speakers will very briefly present different perspectives on how universities build research capacity and use research results (maybe from other institutions) with different goals and how they succeed in aligning these different, not always synergetic goals. Themes  addressed:

  • Building and sharing capacity/Nurturing talent
  • Trend towards research clustering and concentration
  • Contribution to society in different ways: a research based education producing graduates who have the disciplinary and generic skills to take key positions in policy making, industries etc. to deal with complex problems, some of them of global dimension, in an increasingly interconnected world
  • Addressing national and local problems in a global context 

very short interventions, followed by discussion.


  • Lesley Wilson, European University Association (EUA)
  • Sylvie Daviet, University of Aix-Marseille, France
  • Turki Obaidat, Al Zaytoonah University, Jordan
  • Marawn Awartani , Palestine Technical  University, Palestine
  • Amina BENKHADRA, Office National Hydrocarbures et Mines (ONHYM), Morocco
Chair: Lesley Wilson, European University Association (EUA)




Session 2: Addressing global challenges through research collaboration :

The sessions will demonstrate the global nature of these challenges, and the need to address them through interdisciplinary, interregional research collaboration, and propose lessons learned and good practices for discussion with other participants. It will be an interactive panel discussion.


  • Water and peace studies: Jauad EL Kharraz, MEDRC (Middle East Desalination Research Center)International Organization 
  • Energy: Mihaela Albu, Politehnica University of Bucharest, Romania
  • Water: Roman Luckscheiter, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Cairo Office (German Egyptian Water Cluster)
  • Renewable Energy: Badr Ikken, Institut de Recherche en Energie Solaire et Energies Nouvelles (IRESEN), Morocco
  • Abdelhamid El-Zoheiry, Euro-Mediterranean University, Slovenia

Chair:  Abdullah Saif Al Sabahy, Chairman of the Middle East College, Sultanate of Oman 


Coffee break


Session 3: Collaborative initiatives and networks and their contributions to research collaboration: Mapping and pointing to synergies


Short  interventions followed by panel discussion.

  • Rigas Arvanitis, Institut de Recherche pour le Development,France
  • Joel Guiot, Mediterranean Experts on Climate and Environmental Change (MedECC)
  • Marcello Scalisi, Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED – ‘5TOI 4EWAS’ project)
  • Albert Tuijnman, European Investment Bank



  • Welcome by Moroccan host
  • Presentations from sponsors and industry, including Stephane Jouanin, Solution Specialist, Clarivate Analytics, and Salah Khalil, Executive Director, Macat International Limited, UK

Wednesday, 26 April



Session 4: Accessibility of scientific research results

Short presentations on the developments in open science, how this is likely to impact international research collaboration. In discussion with the audience, recommendations for the Arab-European context will be developed.

  • Doris Wastl-Walter, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Faisal Mansouri, University of Sousse, Tunisia 
  • Obaid Al Saidy, Oman Research Council, Oman
  • Bernardo Cascales, University of Murcia, Spain
  • Hanan Malkawi, Vice-President, Royal Scientific Society (RSS), Jordan

    Chair: Bregt Saenen, EUA/MIMIR project on research management models


Session 5: Digitalization and research

Presentations on the developments in digitalization in research and how this is likely to impact international research collaboration. In discussion with the audience, recommendations for the Arab-European context will be developed

  • Odej Kao, Einstein Center Digital Future, Technische Universitat Berlin, Germany
  • Mohamed Loutfi, Cardiff Metropolitan University, UNITED KINGDOM.
  • Pierre Gedeon, Director of International Relations at NDU University, Lebanon.
  • Dafir Mohamed El Kettani University of Mohammed V, Morocco

Chair: Wail Benjelloun, President, Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED)


Coffee break


Closing session: Perspectives for Arab - Euro research and education cooperation

  • Melita Kovacevic University of Zagreb: Short report on the outcomes of the Doctoral Collaboration pre-conference workshop

Closing Panel:

  • Paul J. Pace, Personal Representative of the Minister for Education and Employment of Malta, Presidency of the EU Council
  • Sergi Farré, Union for the Mediterranean, UfM
  • Lesley Wilson, Secretary General of the European University Association, EUA
  • Authorities from Morocco, Algeria, Palestine and the European Commission (TBC)

Chair: Abu Orabi, Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities. AArU

followed by Closing Ceremony


Lunch – followed by University tour


Post-conference session: Cases of good practice for Arab-Euro cooperation in Higher Education: Erasmus Mundus, TEMPUS and Erasmus +  projects’ results and ongoing activities

14:00 – 14:15 Welcome and opening

  • Project Coordinators
  • Representative(s) of EACEA and/or the EU Delegation in Rabat
  • Representatives of AECHE 4 and/or the host University

14:15 – 16:45 Outcomes and results of relevant Erasmus Mundus, TEMPUS and Erasmus+ projects

  • Al Idrisi II (University of Granada)
  • BATTUTA (University of Rouen)
  • EU METALIC II (Cardiff Metropolitan University)
  • UnetBA (University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
  • AVEMPACE I, II and III (Technische Universität Berlin)
  • MIMI, MIMIr, EQuaM, NQF (University of Barcelona)
  • Synergies between Erasmus + and other EU – MED projects (UNIMED)
  • EXPERES (University of Murcia)
  • Others (TBC)

16:45 – 17:00 Summary and conclusion