Thursday, June 20, 2013
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BIDDEFORD — The University of New England has reached a deal to expand the school's reach to the North African kingdom of Morocco.
A delegation from UNE, led by board Chairman Mark Doiron and Anouar Majid, associate provost for global initiatives, was in Morocco last week to sign a formal agreement.
The newest UNE campus is expected to open by this time next year at the American School of Tangier, the oldest American school in Morocco.
"UNE is preparing students to be innovators, leaders and problem-solvers in our increasingly global society," UNE President Danielle Ripich said in a statement. "By establishing a presence in the Moroccan city of Tangier, we are creating the cultural and educational opportunities that make this possible."
Under the agreement, UNE students can spend a semester or a full academic year in Morocco at no extra cost. Students will have the option of living on campus or with host families while taking courses overseas.
Majid said UNE's presence in Tangier could help build the foundation of a much-needed dialogue between the West and the Muslim world.
"U.S. policymakers have been struggling to reach out to the Arab and Muslim worlds," Majid said. "But we, at UNE, have decided to live up to our ideals and invest in friendship."
The campus is within walking distance to downtown Tangier and the Mediterranean Sea. UNE also has announced a deal with the president of Tangier's main public university system to explore faculty exchanges and research collaborations.
From Tangier, students can travel to other parts of Morocco, connect with UNE's existing programs in Spain, and explore other European countries and cities.
The University of New England is a liberal arts school based in Biddeford that offers more than 40 undergraduate, graduate and other degree programs and is home to Maine's only medical school. It also has a campus in Portland.