Moroccan university to go Dutch

Morocco is about to become the first country in the Arabic world to launch a university course in Dutch, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.

In January 2008, the Hassan ll University in Casablanca will launch the course, partly paid for by the Dutch language lobby group TaalUnie.
TaalUnie’s Marc le Clerq tells the paper that some 200 universities in 40 different countries currently teach Dutch. And plans are also underway to teach the language at universities in Cairo and Ankara.
Hassan ll rector Abdelmajid Kaddouri tells the Telegraaf he expects up to 100 students to sign up. Language difficulties are one reason Dutch firms are reluctant to invest in Morocco, he says.
‘In the Netherlands, there is limited interest in Moroccan culture because it’s all about problems with the Moroccan community,’ he argues. ‘But as soon as [the Dutch] earn money, that image changes.’

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