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CLOC DEAR MENA - Digital Education And Research for MENA

About the CLOC

The Cluster of Cooperation “Digital Education And Research for MENA” aims at contributing to a research and education network between Institutions of Higher Education in Switzerland and the MENA region.

Access to digital education and research is crucial for the implementation of several Sustainable Development Goals, such as SDG4 (Quality Education), SDG9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and SDG 10 (Reduced inequalities) and SDG16 (Peace, Justice and strong Institutions). New information and communication technologies allow delivering up-to-date digital methods with emerging forms of learning, teaching and technology transfer.

The goal of this cluster of cooperation is to bridge the digital gap between the Global North and South to ensure equal access to information, cutting edge tools and techniques, and therefore, to foster innovation, partnership and entrepreneurship.

The following thematic focuses are targeted:

A) Digital Education & Partnership

B) Engineering

C) Peacebuilding

D) Gender & Diversity

E) Better Public Governance

Relevant contributions of the CLOC DEAR MENA for development and cooperation between Swiss and MENA institutions within the different thematic focuses include:

  • Developing an institutional framework for education and research by providing methods and expertise in the MENA region,
  • Providing an attractive base for the future joint acquisition of teaching and research funding,
  • Offering the opportunity to learn about the latest developments, share insights, and get up to date with digital technologies in teaching and research.



Partner Institutions

Swiss partners

HES-SO , University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Fariba Moghaddam

EPFL – Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Prof. Dr. Denis Gillet

University of Basel / swisspeace

Prof. Dr. Laurent Goetschel

University of Zurich

Prof. Dr. Bettina Dennerlein

Università della Svizzera italiana

Prof. Dr. Jean-Patrick Villeneuve


MENA partners

Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon

Prof. Dr. Marc Ibrahim

Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine

Prof. Dr. Ahmed Muhaisen

Center of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Fez, Morocco

Prof. Dr. Moha Ennaji

Lebanese American University, Lebanon

Prof. Dr. Harag Margossian

Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran

Prof. Dr. Amir Abolfazl Suratgar

University of Kurdistan, Iran

Prof. Dr. Qobad Shafiee

Birzeit University, Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute of International Studies, Palestine

Prof. Dr. Lourdes Habasch

Centre ISIS Pour Femmes et Développement in Fez, Morocco

Prof. Dr. Fatima Sadiqi

The Women and Memory Forum in Cairo, Egypt

Prof. Dr. Hoda Elsadda

Grant Program

To achieve the CLOC objectives with the aim of encouraging the collaboration between Swiss and MENA partners and for extending the partnership to other Swiss and MENA institutions, a Grant program is proposed.

The Grant program supports the promotion of SDGs in MENA region in the fields of “Digital Education and Research” in one of the following forms:

A) An activity involving interdisciplinary engagement to promote SDGs in the MENA region, in the form of a:

  • Interdisciplinary programs and studies
  • Feasibility studies
  • Explorative and scoping studies
  • Meta-analysis

B) An activity on available research results and based on the conversion of academic research outputs into tools and strategies that supports digital education and research in the thematic focuses of engineering, peacebuilding, gender & diversity and public governance:

  • Teaching materials and online resources
  • Web-based collaborative infrastructures and tools for education and research purposes
  • Proof of concept or prototype feasibility studies
  • Skills building Workshops or blended research in a CLOC MENA thematic focus areas

Funded Projects

1) Ripples, EdTech Bilateral Training Network


  • EPFL – Switzerland
  • Birzeit University – Palestine
  • An-Najah National University – Palestine


2) MOOLs for Remote Research in Engineering


  • HES-SO Valais – Switzerland
  • Amirkabir University of Technology – Iran
  • University of Kurdistan – Iran


3) Student Learning Compass – A visual story of students’ interactions with a course


  • HES-SO ARC – Switzerland
  • Saint Joseph University of Beirut – Lebanon


4) DEeP-GOV – Digital Education Partnership for Effective and Sustainable Governance


  • Università della Svizzera Italiana – Switzerland
  • University Mohammed V of Rabat – Morocco
  • African Local Governments Academy (ALGA) of United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG) – Morocco


5) Strengthening Palestinian universities’ capacity for peace, conflict transformation and reconciliation


  • swisspeace – Switzerland
  • University of Basel – Switzerland
  • Islamic University of Gaza – Palestine


6) Creating Spaces: Enhancing Multiversal Knowledge Production in Gender and Diversity Studies


  • University of Zürich – Switzerland
  • University of Geneva – Switzerland
  • Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW, Hochschule für Wirtschaft – Switzerland
  • ISIS Centre for Women and Development – Morocco
  • Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies – Morocco
  • Women and Memory Forum – Egypt


7) Digitization of universities in the Maghreb and Switzerland: strengthening the skills of academic staff


  • University of Geneva – Switzerland
  • HES-SO GE – Switzerland
  • University of Sousse –Tunisia
  • University Mohamed Lamine Debaghine Setif 2 – Algeria


8) Combining Life Skills and Literacy: The Potential of the MOOC CORE for disadvantaged groups in Egypt


  • Zurich University of Teacher Education – Switzerland
  • University of Zürich – Switzerland
  • Asyut University – Egypt