(MENAFN - Morocco World News) Rabat - More than 70 billion Moroccan dirhams are reportedly being dedicated to improve material and educational conditions for university students during the current academic year, Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani said on Monday before the House of Representatives in Rabat. Othmani said that a strategic plan for higher education and scientific research has been prepared, covering a series of measures aimed at strengthening universities and implementing the educational reform related to higher education. The plan is part of the implementation of a strategic vision of the 2015–2030 reform in accordance with the 2016–2021 government action program. More than 30 percent increase in access to universities next year Regarding university pedagogical reform, the prime minister presented several measures that have been adopted such as upgrading public university infrastructure, health and sports facilities within campuses as well as the renovation of all facilities and equipment. There will also be an up to 20 percent increase in the number of incoming students to institutions with limited access and a 30 percent increase for the next academic year. 700 positions in 2018 for HR management To improve human resources management, Othmani underlined that about 700 vacant positions will be filled in 2018, adding that channels of recruitment will be diversified to attract a maximum of national and international expertise. The recruitment of contractual doctoral students is also expected to continue with at least 300 recrutements per year. Assessment of academic and pedagogical materials The prime minister said that projects will be launched to evaluate and redevelop the pedagogical system of higher education in terms of 'diversity, openness, efficiency and innovation,' as well as to monitor the application and respect of academic materials. For this matter, a national reference manual for training will be prepared. 'Since the beginning of February, approximately 120 procedures are being evaluated by the National Agency for Evaluation and Quality Assurance of Higher Education and Scientific Research,' Othmani said. Special focus on national strategy for scientific research Regarding scientific research, the PM said that Morocco is stepping up its efforts in terms of legislation, funding and structuring of scientific research to increase the efficiency of human resources. He also stressed that in reaction to the challenges facing the country, a particular interest has been given to the national strategy for scientific research. It will objectives including restructuring and coordinating scientific research, identifying research priorities on topics related to economic growth and increasing financial means for scientific"