MSU-Morocco partnership heralded as ‘best practice’ in international education

Université Internationale de Rabat President Noureddine Mouaddib and Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum shake hands after signing a memorandum of understanding in 2015 in Rabat, Morocco. (Photo submitted)

Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University’s partnership with Morocco’s Université Internationale de Rabat is being recognized as one of the top partnerships in international education.

The Institute of International Education announced today [Jan. 23] that the dual-degree program established by the two universities has received the 2017 IIE Andrew Heiskell Award for International Partnerships. With the recognition as America’s top international university partnership, the program will be featured as a “best practice” in international education by the IIE.

“We’re very proud to see MSU recognized with the Heiskell Award, recognizing the innovative program that we’ve developed with the Université Internationale de Rabat,” MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw said. “We’ve made a strong commitment to globalizing our campus, and this partnership with a Moroccan institution is tangible evidence of this. We are now growing and deepening the relationship, including exploring other academic programs that might be offered and research collaborations that open up new opportunities.”

MSU and UIR have partnered to create dual degree programs in automotive and aerospace engineering. The relationship between the two universities also extends to research collaboration and academic exchanges that are beneficial to education and economic development in Morocco and Mississippi.

The dual degree program allows students from Morocco to spend a year studying in Mississippi and earn a diploma of engineering from UIR and a bachelor’s and master’s degree from MSU. Since the academic program began in 2015, Morocco has become one of the top 10 countries sending students to MSU. For more information on the partnership, visit

MSU’s application for the Heiskell Award notes that the relationship between the two institutions of higher learning has grown and evolved organically, based on complementary strengths. UIR approached Mississippi State about developing a School of Automotive Engineering because of active research collaboration with MSU’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems.

The award will be presented on March 14 at the annual Institute of International Education Best Practices Conference in Miami, where MSU has been invited to make a presentation on the program. The Heiskell Awards are designed to foster innovative ideas that will help international education professionals create and sustain new opportunities for students and faculty. For more, see

More information on Mississippi State’s global initiatives, led by the university’s International Institute, can be found at

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Monday, January 23, 2017 - 9:29 am