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H.M. Mohamed VI Fellowship
in Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies
 
St Antony’s College at Oxford University

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The King Mohammed VI Fellowship in Moroccan and Mediterranean Studies was established in 2004 as the fruit of an agreement between the Moroccan British Society (MBS) and St Antony’s College, Oxford University. As well as strengthening and promoting Moroccan-British ties, the new Fellowship aimed to promote study of Morocco in Britain through the endowment of an academic position at Britain’s most prestigious university.

In October 2004 the formal agreement between St Antony’s College and the MBS was signed at a ceremony in Rabat by Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala, President of the MBS, and Sir Marrack Goulding, Warden of St Antony’s. The same month the first holder of the Fellowship, Dr Michael Willis, began work at the Middle East Centre at St Antony’s.

In its first two years, the Fellowship organised a number of events at Oxford. These included a lecture series on the theme of ‘Morocco in the Contemporary World: The Road Ahead’ in spring 2005 that comprised contributions from a range of academics and politicians, including former Prime Minister of Morocco, Mr Ahmed Osman. In June 2006 a conference entitled: ‘Truth, Justice and National Reconciliation: The Moroccan Experience in Comparative Perspective’ was held and invited members of Morocco’s Equity and Reconciliation Commission to discuss Morocco’s approach to issues of national reconciliation with experts on similar processes in other countries.

At the level of teaching and students, the Fellowship has established several new courses related to Morocco. A number of Masters and Doctoral students have now begun research on Morocco, under the supervision of Dr Willis, looking at themes as diverse as youth and politics in Morocco and Morocco’s sugar industry.

In addition to teaching and supervising students, Dr Willis has spoken at a large number of international conferences and seminars both in and outside Britain and has made regular contributions about Morocco to the media.

Future projects for the Fellowship include the establishment of a visiting Fellowship for Moroccan academics to come to Oxford and the creation of a scholarship fund for outstanding Moroccan students to study at Oxford.

 
 
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