Rabat – The University of al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, the oldest educational institution in the world, has gained the patronage of King Mohammed VI. According to a new royal Dahir (decree) 1.15.71 dated June 24, published by the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, the University of al-Qarawiyyin will now be under the high royal patronage of King Mohammed VI, starting on August 20th.The university is currently under the supervision of the ministry of education and the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs. Under the new royal decree, the university will remain financially and academically independent, but a number of structural reforms will be implemented to ‘promote Islamic thought and scientific research’ and to give a new impetus to religious training, the same source added.The university will have, among other responsibilities, to offer training to imams, develop scientific research on Quranic studies, and promote the history of Morocco and the Maliki doctrine.Several institutions will be affiliated with the University of al-Qarawiyyin, including the Mohammed VI Institute for the training of imams, the Mohammed VI Institute for Qur’anic readings and studies, Dar Al Hadith Al Hassania, the Royal Institute for the study of the history of Morocco and the Institute of Islamic thought and civilization.The University of al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, the first degree awarding educational institution in the world according to UNESCO, was founded by Fatima al-Fihri in 859. Students from all over Morocco and the Islamic World attend the university to learn about Islamic, religious and legal sciences.

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