CORRECTION Morocco Earthquake

Residents flee their homes after an earthquake in Moulay Brahim village, near the epicenter of an earthquake outside Marrakech, Morocco, on Saturday. Mosa’ab Elshamy/Associated Press

After a deadly earthquake struck Morocco on Friday night, killing more than a thousand people, the head of the University of New England said the school’s Morocco campus was not hit and that students and faculty were not impacted by the disaster.

In a statement released Saturday, UNE President James Herbert said he was devastated to learn about the earthquake and “grateful that our students, faculty, and professionals at UNE’s campus in Tangier were not impacted by this disaster.”

Herbert also offered thoughts and condolences to those who were harmed.

Several UNE students are already helping by volunteering to donate blood and perform other acts of service to help relief efforts, Herbert said. In the coming weeks, students and faculty will work with local authorities to see how else they can help, he added.

The UNE Morocco campus has 40 students, six faculty members, and four professional staff members. The Tangier campus – which opened in 2014 – is about a 300-mile drive from where the earthquake hit near Marrakech.

According to the Morocco campus’ webpage, UNE hosts global education programs, including the Tangier Global Forum lecture series, and other projects that benefit American students and the Moroccan community.


UNE has formed deep ties with the country of Morocco over the past decade, Herbert said Saturday.

Students don’t just travel to Morocco to experience a new country – “they are invested in the country’s communities,” he said. Through clinical work, volunteer opportunities, homestays and more, “our students come to Morocco not just to study abroad, they intend to make an impact during their time there,” the president added.

Students first began studying at the Morocco campus in Tangier, on the North African coast, in 2014. In announcing the new campus, officials said UNE students could spend a semester or a full academic year in Morocco at no extra cost. Students would have the option of living on campus or with host families while taking courses overseas.

In announcing the expansion to Morocco in 2012, Danielle Ripich, UNE’s president at the time, said the move would create new cultural and educational opportunities for students and help prepare them to be “innovators, leaders and problem-solvers in our increasingly global society.”

Staff Writer Ray Routhier contributed to this report.

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