18 April 2016

NIMAR: Leiden University in Morocco

The Netherlands Institute in Morocco (NIMAR) will be opening its doors on 21 April as an institute of the Leiden University Faculty of Humanities. The day marks the official relaunch of the institute that will serve as a base from which students and researchers can explore Morocco.

Centre of expertise

NIMAR is the Leiden Universityl centre of expertise for Moroccan Studies. The institute provides teaching, facilitates research and plays an active role in disseminating knowledge of Moroccan languages, culture and society within the Netherlands.  It was established in 2006 by Radboud University (Nijmegen) and was incorporated into the Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University in 2016. The reopening will take place in the official residence of Ron Strikker, Dutch Ambassador in Morocco. Wim van den Doel, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, will be present on behalf of the faculty. 

Morocco in depth

Students from a wide range of specialisations at Dutch universities and institutions of applied sciences will have the opportunity to explore Moroccan culture in depth. As part of this initiative, the institute will be offering the minor in Culture and Society in Morocco. Students of this minor will spend a whole term in Rabat. The minor also offers students of Arabic a six-month programme in Morocco. NIMAR is intending to offer a programme for students of French starting in 2017, French being one of the official languages of Morocco.

Excellent base

The Dutch government is strongly in favour of having a Dutch teaching and research institute in Morocco, according to Léon Buskens, director of NIMAR. The institute receives an annual subsidy of 600,000 euros from the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs. The Dutch government believes it is important for all Dutch people with Moroccan roots to  have an interest in the country that their ancestors came from, Buskens explained. 'But it is good for all Dutch people to have a better understanding of Morocco and Moroccan society. NIMAR is an excellent base from which students and researchers can explore the country.'