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
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.