unctad.org | Moroccan University joins UNCTAD's Virtual Institute network
Moroccan University joins UNCTAD's Virtual Institute network
23 July 2012

Morocco's Université Mohammed V - Souissi (UM5S) joined the UNCTAD Virtual Institute network yesterday, bringing the number of member institutions to 76 and the number of countries represented in the network to 40. ​



UM5S is the third Virtual Institute member from an Arab country (along with Egypt and Jordan) and the fifth from French-speaking Africa.

The Virtual Institute's main counterpart at the University will be the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences, which encompasses economics, management, public and private law, and social sciences.

UM5S has launched a Master's programme in international trade and the WTO. The Faculty also offers Master's programmes in entrepreneurship and international development, and in environment and sustainable development. Through its centre of doctoral studies, it also provides PhD programmes, including in international trade.

Research at the Faculty is undertaken in the framework of 16 research centres, laboratories or teams. Those concerned with trade and development topics cover competitiveness, quantitative methods for social sciences, law and international migration, trade policy and international trade of Morocco, and environment and sustainable development.

Mr. Azzedine Ghoufrane, vice-dean of the faculty for academic and pedagogical affairs will coordinate the cooperation with the Virtual Institute. He holds a PhD in public law and specializes in international economic law and WTO law.

Through its participation in the Virtual Institute, the University hopes to further strengthen its teaching and research capacity in the area of trade, investment and development, get access to data and teaching resources tailored to the needs of developing countries, and develop cooperation with other Virtual Institute members.

Cognizant of the important role of academia in economic development, UNCTAD established a special programme of cooperation with academic institutions, the UNCTAD Virtual Institute on Trade and Development, in June 2004. While initially the Vi worked only with universities, in December 2011, its scope was enlarged to also encompass research centres, members of the UNCTAD Global Network of Development Think Tanks.

Over the years, the Virtual Institute programme has received funding support from the Carlo Schmid Programme, Germany; the Canadian International Development Agency; and the Governments of Finland, Japan, Norway and Spain, as well as from the UN Development Account.

The Virtual Institute provides advice on the design of university courses and programmes and develops teaching materials on trade and development issues. It also organizes tailored training programmes for visiting students at Geneva-based organizations (study tours).

In addition, the Institute offers training and learning opportunities for groups of academics (regional and national workshops) and individuals (mentoring, especially for junior researchers who work on research projects of specific interest to their universities, either in Geneva in the framework of the Virtual Institute fellowship programme, or at a distance).

Networking among the various member institutions is also encouraged and facilitated in the areas of research, development of teaching materials and professional development.

The UNCTAD Virtual Institute is supervised by Ms. Vlasta Macku. Her team comprises Ms. Susana Olivares and Ms. Nora Circosta.

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