As part of the implementation of Morocco’s advanced status with the European Union (RSAII), the technical assistance program was launched for a period of one year, between November 2016 and November 2017.

The main results of this project were to provide technical assistance to ANEAQ in the development of quality criteria for the assessment of higher education institutions and scientific research.

To do so, it was agreed between ANEAQ and the European Experts to adopt a participatory approach in designing and developing such quality criteria, with the organization of:

  • Workshop on 21 and 22 February 2016 at Mohammed V University in Rabat, under the theme: «new era for quality assurance in higher education and scientific research in Morocco»;
  • Regional meetings were also organized (Quality Assurance Caravan) at the Moroccan Universities by ANEAQ and the European Union experts, to further involve them, to have their opinions on the development of these assessment criteria and to develop appropriate criteria for the Moroccan context. To this end, five meetings were organized with the participation of experts from different Moroccan Universities.
  • Meeting at Moulay Ismail University on April 13, 2017 with the participation of : Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, UAI, Mohamed First University and Euromed University in Fez);
  • Meeting at Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Tangier, on May 17, 2017;
  • Meeting at the International University of Rabat, on June 13, 2017, with the participation of: Mohamed V University, Ibn Tofail University and UAISS);
  • Meeting at Kadi Ayyad University in Marrakesh, on June 15, 2017, with the participation of: Ibn Zohr University, Private University of Marrakech, Sultan Moulay Slimane University and Mohamed 6 Polytechnic University;
  • Meeting at Hassan II University of Casablanca, on July 5 2017, with the participation of Chouaib Doukkali University, Hassan First University and Mohamed 6 University of health sciences.
  • Workshop on July 6, 2017 at Hassan I University of Settat in order to study quality reference systems;
  • Restitution symposium on November 15, 2017 at Mohammedia School of Engineering in Rabat, which brought together ANEAQ, European Experts and different actors and partners involved in Assessment and quality assurance in higher education and scientific research.

Afterwards, ANEAQ carried out the final draft’s version of this reference system, which was presented to ANEAQ’s Board of Directors on November 7, 2018, and which was then translated from French into Arabic.

Pursuant to the provisions of Article 5 of Law No. 12-80 concerning the National Agency for Assessment and Quality Assurance in Higher Education and Scientific Research (ANEAQ), providing that these quality criteria are established by a regulatory text, on the proposal of ANEAQ, a decree No. 2-19-16 was issued and published in the official gazette.

Considering the nature of these quality criteria, which require continuous updating in order to cope with the developments in higher education and scientific research systems at the international level, as well as to reflect the dynamism of the Moroccan university, and for greater flexibility and ease in monitoring these developments and changes and for continuous improvement of these quality criteria, which require periodic review, the said decree entrusted the government authority responsible for higher education and scientific research with the possibility of amending or completing the said quality criteria by a decree.

This reference system is a result of a work carried out by European experts with the participation of experts from Moroccan universities, and this as part of Technical Support project subsidized by European Union in the context of succeeding the advanced status program (RSA).

For the purposes of capitalizing on the results of previous similar projects, the design and development of these quality criteria were built on a variety of sources, namely:

  • Capacity Building in Institutional Assessment “conducted in the context of the Tempus program (2013-2016)”;
  • The project of institutional assessment reference system in higher education, developed in 2010 by a working group set up by the Minister of Higher Education, Executives’ Training and Scientific Research;
  • AQi-UMed project, a reference system developed as part of Tempus Strengthening Internal Quality Assurance in Mediterranean universities; in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia (2010-2013);
  • Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in European Higher Education Area (ESG, 2015 version) developed by E4 group made up of European Association of Quality Assurance Agencies (ENQA), European University Association (EUA), European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) and European Students’ Union (ESU).

It is also a result of an active participation through in situ seminars and meetings with representatives of all the stakeholders: many services of the ministry of higher education and other national bodies, universities, public and private institutions, and experts from these institutions.

The development of the reference system was overseen by the National Agency for Assessment and Quality Assurance in Higher Education and Scientific Research (ANEAQ).

This reference system is designed in form and substance in order to be adopted in the internal and external assessment of Moroccan public and private higher education institutions.

This reference system, which is intended to be practical, would enable these institutions to assess the extent to which this reference system interacts with the different national and international references of quality assurance in higher education namely:

  • Self-understanding of the institution and its positioning at regional, national and international levels;
  • Decision making through the institutional bodies and strategic management performance;
  • Interest in implementing Quality Assurance process and the extent to which the implementation of its results contributes to decision making and strategic planning;
  • Looking for continuous improvement for effective internal and external performance of the institution.

This reference system consists of 5 domains divided up into 15 fields of activity involving 38 standards split into 146 criteria.

  • Universities and their establishments: 146
  • Non university establishments: 30
  • Private universities and their establishments and private higher education establishments: 208