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University of Al-Qarawiyyin or Al-Karaouine in Fes

University of Al-Qarawiyyin or Al-Karaouine in Fes

 University of Al-Qarawiyyin or Al-Karaouine in Fes

The University of Al-Qarawiyyin, also recognized as Al-Karaouine graces the city of Fes, Morocco. Renowned as one of the world’s oldest universities, it stands tall as one of North Africa’s most esteemed institutions of higher education.

Founded in 859 AD by the visionary Fatima al-Fihri, a woman of Arab descent, the university’s origins lie in a focused pursuit of knowledge, centered initially on the study of the Qur’an and other religious subjects. Over time, this intellectual haven expanded its horizons, embracing a diverse array of disciplines including mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and law.

During the medieval Islamic era, the university emerged as a pivotal center of learning, nurturing, and producing numerous illustrious scholars and scientists. Even in the contemporary landscape, Al-Qarawiyyin retains its prominence as one of Morocco’s foremost universities and a significant hub for Islamic scholarship. The echoes of its historical significance resonate through the corridors, enriching the academic tapestry of the institution.

Interior of the Al-Qarawiyyin University

Nestled in the heart of Fes, the University of Al-Qarawiyyin finds its home in a striking building, a true gem in the city’s landscape. The interior is adorned with intricate carvings and vibrant tiles, transforming it into an architectural masterpiece. Adding to its allure, the university boasts an expansive library, housing an impressive collection of over 400,000 books.

For those with aspirations of studying at a globally renowned institution, the University of Al-Qarawiyyin stands as an excellent choice. Its storied history is a testament to academic excellence, and its faculty ranks among the finest in the country.

Beyond academics, the university offers a plethora of extracurricular activities, ranging from engaging cultural events to spirited sports tournaments. This multifaceted approach to education ensures that students not only receive a world-class academic experience but also have ample opportunities for personal and cultural enrichment.

In essence, if you’re in search of an extraordinary learning journey, the University of Al-Qarawiyyin warrants serious consideration. Its unique blend of historical significance, architectural splendor, and academic prowess creates an environment where learning transcends the conventional, promising an unparalleled educational adventure.

Exterior of the Al-Karaouine University

The University of Al-Qarawiyyin in Fes, Morocco, boasts an exterior design that is both simple and understated. Comprising a series of white arches gracefully supported by columns, the building exudes an aura of timeless elegance.

Central to the architectural composition is a spacious courtyard, enveloped by various academic buildings. This design fosters an atmosphere of openness and connectivity, enhancing the overall harmony of the campus.

The external aesthetics evoke a sense of calm and serenity, aligning seamlessly with the traditional style of Moroccan architecture. The university’s exterior design serves as a visual testament to its enduring legacy and esteemed graduates, who have left an indelible mark in their respective fields.

Today, the University of Al-Qarawiyyin stands as a revered institution of learning, and its outward simplicity belies the wealth of knowledge and achievement that thrives within its walls. The building’s elegant design contributes to an environment that is not only conducive to study but also reflects the institution’s commitment to scholarly excellence.

In its simplicity and charm, the exterior design of the University of Al-Qarawiyyin encapsulates the essence of a place where learning, history, and architectural beauty converge, leaving an indomitable impression on all who encounter it.

What’s Inside the University & What Does it Offer?

The University of Al-Qarawiyyin stands as a beacon of academic diversity, offering a comprehensive array of programs and courses tailored to students of varied backgrounds and educational levels. With faculties spanning theology, law, medicine, humanities, sciences, business administration, and a dedicated school for Islamic studies, the university ensures a rich and multifaceted educational experience.

Notably, the institution is revered for its historic library, one of the oldest in the world. This treasure trove contains a vast collection of manuscripts, some dating back to the 9th century, offering a rare glimpse into the intellectual heritage of centuries past. Complementing this literary wealth, the university houses a museum, showcasing a captivating collection of ancient Moroccan artifacts, further enriching the cultural tapestry of the institution.

Functioning as a crucial hub for learning and research, the University of Al-Qarawiyyin has played a pivotal role in advancing knowledge, not only within the borders of Morocco but also on a global scale. Its commitment to the development of intellectual pursuits has left an indelible mark, contributing significantly to the academic landscape.

The distinguished alumni of the university stand as living testaments to its academic excellence. Graduates have ascended to remarkable heights in their respective fields, emerging as influential scholars and thought leaders. Al-Karaouine University stands as a singular and prestigious institution, beckoning those with a passion for Moroccan history and culture to explore its hallowed halls as an invitation to witness the intersection of knowledge, heritage, and scholarly distinction.

Design of the Al-Karaouine University

The design of Al-Qarawiyyin University in Fes, Morocco is a thoughtful response to the unique needs of both students and faculty. This meticulous design journey commenced with a thorough analysis of the existing campus, keenly identifying opportunities and constraints that would shape the development.

Subsequently, a series of concept options were crafted, each tailored to address the specific needs identified during the analysis phase. These concepts underwent a rigorous evaluation, considering factors such as functionality, cost, and aesthetics. The final design option emerged as a culmination of these evaluations, ensuring a harmonious blend of practicality and visual appeal.

Celebrated as a world-renowned institution with a rich history spanning over 1200 years, the campus sprawls across an expansive 30-hectare area, hosting a diverse array of buildings and facilities. This significant expansion reflects the university’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs of its academic community.

The collaborative effort between architects and the client during the design process speaks to the importance of a shared vision. The architects, attuned to the nuances of the existing campus, worked in tandem with the client to navigate through opportunities and constraints, resulting in a design that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

As a venerable institution of learning, Al-Qarawiyyin University’s new campus is poised to enhance its already sterling reputation. This design not only caters to the present needs of students and faculty but also lays the foundation for a dynamic and thriving academic environment, ensuring that the legacy of this Moroccan University continues to evolve and flourish.


The University boasts 11 faculties, offering a spectrum of academic disciplines: Islamic studies, humanities, law, medicine, sciences, engineering, agriculture, veterinary medicine, management and commerce, architecture, and information technology. Each faculty provides a specialized pathway, catering to diverse interests and career aspirations, reflecting the institution’s commitment to delivering a comprehensive and well-rounded education.

Colleges Under The University

The University additionally encompasses five colleges, each dedicated to specific domains of study: Literature and Human Sciences, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences, Medical Sciences, and Engineering and Architecture. These specialized colleges further enrich the academic landscape, offering students focused avenues for in-depth exploration and expertise within their chosen fields.

Number of the Students

The University boasts a diverse student body, with a total enrollment of approximately 25,000 students. Notably, women constitute around 60 percent of the student population, underlining the institution’s commitment to gender inclusivity. Furthermore, the university welcomes international students, who contribute to the vibrant academic community, comprising approximately 7 percent of the overall student body. This blend of local and global perspectives enhances the richness of the educational experience at the University of Al-Qarawiyyin.

Credibility of The University

The University of Al-Qarawiyyin stands as a highly esteemed institution, earning its place among the top universities in Africa. Renowned for its academic excellence, it has produced distinguished alumni, notably contributing to the scholarly landscape of Islamic history.

Beyond its intellectual contributions, the university is celebrated for its captivating architecture, a testament to cultural and historical significance. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the campus embodies a rich tapestry of learning and heritage.

The University of Al-Qarawiyyin transcends its local impact, serving as a vital center of learning not only for Morocco but also for the broader Muslim world. A beacon of knowledge, it offers students a unique opportunity to delve into the realms of Islam and the Arab world, playing a pivotal role in shaping the development of Islamic scholarship over the centuries. The university’s enduring legacy continues to resonate globally, fostering a deep understanding of Islamic culture and thought.

Academic Staff

As of 2012, the University of Al-Qarawiyyin boasted a total staff count of 1,025 individuals. Within this cohort, the academic staff at Al-Karaouine demonstrated a high level of expertise and experience.

Professors at the university are not only experts in their respective fields but also demonstrate a profound dedication to the craft of teaching and supporting their students’ learning journeys. This commitment to academic excellence forms a cornerstone of the university’s longstanding tradition.

The faculty’s unwavering dedication to upholding these standards ensures that students at the University of Al-Qarawiyyin, nestled in the historic city of Fes, Morocco, are exceptionally fortunate. They benefit from the tutelage of a talented and devoted faculty, contributing significantly to the institution’s reputation as a center of academic distinction and scholarly accomplishment.

Education Expenses

The University of Al-Qarawiyyin in Fes, Morocco, provides a diverse array of programs encompassing engineering, business, computer science, and law, catering to a vibrant student population of approximately 20,000 individuals.

Beyond its academic offerings, the university stands out for its robust research environment, housing a considerable number of researchers engaged in cutting-edge projects across various fields.

For those seeking an affordable yet excellent education, the University of Al-Qarawiyyin is an ideal destination. With reasonable tuition fees, the institution ensures a world-class education accessible to students from diverse backgrounds. The university’s extensive program offerings are complemented by a diverse faculty dedicated to delivering high-quality education.

Recognizing the financial challenges that students may face, the university extends a helping hand through scholarships and financial aid programs. The cost of education at the University of Al-Qarawiyyin is notably reasonable compared to global standards, with undergraduate tuition fees standing at approximately $2,000 per year.

Moreover, the cost of living in Fes, Morocco, adds to the allure of this educational haven, with students able to comfortably manage a budget ranging from $300 to $400 per month. In essence, the University of Al-Qarawiyyin emerges as a stellar option for those in pursuit of an affordable yet enriching academic experience, all set against the backdrop of a country steeped in rich history and culture.

Al-Qarawiyy in Fes, the Oldest University in the World

The reputation of the University of Al-Qarawiyyin extends to its illustrious library, said to house some of the world’s oldest and most invaluable books. This treasure trove of knowledge underscores the institution’s commitment to preserving and sharing centuries-old wisdom.

The university takes pride in its distinguished alumni, among whom stands Ibn Khaldun, a luminary in the realm of Arab historians and one of the most influential figures in the field. The legacy of such accomplished graduates echoes the enduring impact of the university on the academic landscape.

Indeed, the University of Al-Qarawiyyin is unequivocally one of the oldest universities globally. Its extensive and storied history, coupled with the notable achievements of its alumni, positions it as a venerable institution that has played a pivotal role in shaping intellectual discourse throughout the ages.