The Faculty of Islamic Studies of Indonesian International Islamic University (UIII) visited Morocco on 6-8 December 2022. The program aims at initiating collaborations with The Faculty of Literature and Humanities of Mohammed V University and the Faculty of Islamic Studies of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University. These partnerships have broadened the Faculty of Islamic Studies’ international collaborations where since last year, the faculty has successfully run a dual degree Master program with Edinburgh University.
As a faculty that has just operated since 2021, UIII's Faculty of Islamic Studies has been gearing up to strengthen its international position. Collaboration with reputable universities is a strategic way to promote the faculty’s world-class reputation and to achieve the faculty’s vision to decentre Islamic studies. The faculty aspires to make Indonesia an alternative center for students around the world to learn about Islam besides pursuing education in Western and Middle-Eastern universities.
For that, the Faculty of Islamic Studies combines the strengths of both worlds by providing classical Islamic subjects and western social sciences in the curriculum. While the faculty has had a partnership with Edinburgh University, collaborations with universities in Morocco have strategically represented the faculty’s vision to engage with both Western and the Muslim worlds.
The delegates of the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Marocco consisted of the Dean, Prof. Noorhaidi Hasan, the head of PhD program, Dr. Syamsul Rijal, the secretary of PhD program, Dr. Haula Noor, the head of MA program, Dr. Zezen Zaenal Mutaqin, the secretary of MA program, Dr. Bhirawa Anoraga, and Dr Ilyas Marwal who got his MA and PhD from Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University and Mohammed V University, respectively.
During the three days-visit, the delegates received warm welcome from both Moroccan universities. On the first day, the delegates had a meeting with the representatives of the Faculty of Literature and Humanities of Mohammed V University to discuss a potential dual degree MA program. On the second day, the delegates had a conference at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University to present the history of Islamic education in Indonesia, in particular, the development of UIII and the Faculty of Islamic Studies.
The conference was concluded with an MOU between the two faculties, witnessed by Drs Hasrul Azwar, MM, the Indonesian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, to initiate more joint events such as student and lecturer exchange programs in the future.
Overall, the visit to Marocco was a pleasant trip for the delegates of the Faculty of Islamic Studies UIII. The hospitality that the delegates received from the host universities was remarkable. Indeed, historically, Indonesia and Morocco have long had a strong diplomatic relationship. Both Muslim-majority countries also share the commitment to upholding inclusive and tolerant Islam.
On top of that, the visit has been fruitful to broaden the Faculty of Islamic Studies and its international collaborations. Concrete action will be taken to follow up the partnerships through a joint conference where the representatives of both Moroccan universities will visit UIII campus in Depok next year.
Bhirawa Anoraga Ph.D lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Studies