Kennesaw State Welcomes New Partner Institution in Morocco

February 2, 2016

Al Akhawayn University MOUKennesaw State University has expanded its global footprint by signing a memorandum of understanding with Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco (AUI).  The agreement will eventually provide international exchange opportunities for students at both universities, and continues Kennesaw State’s decade-and-a-half presence in Morocco.

On Thursday, Jan. 28th, Kennesaw State University hosted Amy L. Fishburn, AUI’s Director of International Programs, who presented University President Dr. Daniel Papp with a memorandum of understanding signed by AUI President Driss Ouaouicha. She attended a signing ceremony in the President’s Office, where she met with Papp and with Vice-Provost & Chief International Officer Dr. Lance Askildson.

Fishburn, who has been a supporter of globalization since her days as a Peace Corps volunteer in the early 1980s, expressed excitement over having the opportunity to work with Kennesaw State University.

“It is a special thrill to embark on this KSU - AUI relationship through a wide range of planned activities already set in motion that involve students and faculty.” she said. She added that she looks forward to “fostering the strong and longstanding relationship between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Morocco.”

Nestled in the Middle Atlas Mountains, AUI was first established in 1993. Today, the university has more than 2,000 students from 25 different countries, and offers seven undergraduate and 13 graduate degree programs. Through education abroad and exchange programs, AUI has relationships with more than 300 institutions in more than 50 countries.

Kennesaw State currently has memorandums of understanding with more than 40 international universities. In academic year 2014-2015, the University sent 59 students abroad as part of international exchange programs.

To commemorate the new agreement between Kennesaw State and AUI, Fishburn presented Dr. Papp with a 2016 AUI desktop academic calendar featuring Berber, Arabic, English and Latin translations for all of its content. Dr. Papp gave Fishburn a carved statue of an owl – Kennesaw State University’s mascot.

A number of collaborative projects are already planned between the two universities. In the fall, AUI will host Kennesaw State students participating in the Around the World in 80 Days education abroad program. Also, Kennesaw State will work closely with AUI during the 2018-2019 'Year of Morocco' country study program. 

“This agreement provides us with a strong foundation to further expand upon our 15-year legacy of programming in Morocco,” Dr. Askildson said. “Al Akhawayn is the leading university in Morocco and provides a wonderful residential liberal arts environment for our students and faculty. 

“We look forward to expanding our collaboration and developing our partnership with Al Akhawayn and welcoming their students and scholars to campus."

-Patrick Harbin