Creativity flourishes as Mosul’s Fine Arts College officially opens

The newly-rehabilitated College of Fine Arts at Mosul University has been officially opened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Iraq.

The College, rehabilitated by UNDP with financial support from the United States Government through USAID, offers third-level art courses ranging from music, theatre, painting, and sculpture, and will benefit 600 students from across Iraq.

The renovation work included plastering and repainting the classroom walls, repairing doors and windows, replacing the roof and restoring electrical systems.

During ISIL’s occupation of Mosul between 2014 and 2017, the College suffered extensive damage and subsequently closed. Artworks were destroyed and strewn across the campus, as art-making was believed to contradict Islamic State ideology.

“Mosul once sat at the epicentre of Iraq’s cultural identity, so the reopening of this college is a significant milestone for local communities,” says Head of UNDP Stabilization, Dr Mohammedsiddig Mudawi.

“Art as a form of expression has allowed people of Mosul – many of them students who have been born into years of conflict – heal from the atrocities faced under ISIL.  It’s wonderful to see a rejuvenation of this artistic talent here at the College,” adds Dr. Mudawi.

Joey Hood, Chargé d’Affaires of the US Mission in Iraq, says: “Through the United Nations Development Program Funding Facility for Stabilization, the United States is rehabilitating 14 buildings here at Mosul University, including the College of Fine Arts, where1 I am proud to see that students are once again in class.”

The ceremony included a theatrical performance by art students as well as an art exhibition in the College’s refurbished courtyard.

The College rehabilitation project is also supported by the Government of Canada, which funded the rehabilitation of water pump station on campus. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has funded the supply of furniture and equipment for the College.

(Source: UNDP)

As part of the continues support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to the University of Karbala, a workshop has been conducted for the period 1 to 5 April on the e-learning modules, gathering twenty senior officials and academics from Karbala University, as part of the technical support provided by the Public Sector Modernization (IPSM) Programme to the e-learning units of Karbala University.

UNDP through IPSM Programme has introduced the e-learning approach to two institutions in Iraq; University of Karbala, and National Centre for Management Development and Information Technology (NCMDIT) within the Ministry of Planning (MoP).

DG of the Continuing Learning Center, Prof. Ahmed Hadi Al Yasari said:

“This workshop is very important as it is conducted in conjunction with the launching of the e-learning development plan of Karbala university for the years 2019-2022. The implementation of this plan requires vital efforts and cooperation between the two parties to make Karbala University an advanced university in e-learning, thus improving the quality of education”.

As a result, a team of management and situation analytics specialized in e-Learning has been established in Karbala university, the team will work to explore the best options for transferring into the e-Learning system, depending on international practices provided during the workshop and presentations of global experiences including some of the well-known Egyptian and British universities.

(Source: UNDP)

Euphrates Advisors LLC and AUIS announce establishment of Euphrates Fund Scholarship

Euphrates Advisors LLC and American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) announced today the establishment of the Euphrates Fund Scholarship (EFS), a generous grant that will cover the tuition of one University student each year.

Euphrates Advisors is an investment firm that manages the Euphrates Iraq Fund Ltd., which invests in Iraqi companies listed on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX). The Fund has invested more than $130 million since it was established in 2010.

Geoffrey Batt, managing director and founder of Euphrates Advisors LLC, said:

AUIS – by providing a rigorous higher education rooted in a liberal arts tradition to promising Iraqi youth – is playing an essential role in building a more prosperous and humane Iraq. We are proud to support your work with this scholarship.”

Euphrates Advisors has an existing relationship with AUIS, recruiting talented alumni to join its workforce. AUIS alumnus Qusay M. Muhyaldeen joined the firm as a consultant in the Baghdad office before moving on the the Washington, DC office as an analyst.

Grant Felgenhauer, Managing Partner of Euphrates Advisors, added:

“AUIS students graduate with deep critical thinking and analytical skills, together with a desire to contribute to the future development of Iraq — which is why we hire them.”

Christine van den Toorn, AUIS’ Executive Director of External Relations and Policy said of the scholarship:

“Through support like this from the private sector, AUIS is able to educate more Iraqi youth, preparing them to be engaged citizens and successful young professionals. The majority of our graduates work in the private sector, for leading US and multinational and local companies, and I’d say AUIS is really fueling the Iraqi private sector, and so we appreciate that they give back to AUIS in this way that benefits us both.”

To learn more about opportunities to support the education of Iraq’s future leaders, contact Christine van den Toorn (EU/MENA) at c.vandentoorn@auis.edu.krd, or Mrs. Liza O’Connor-Stroud (US) at liza.oconnor@auis.edu.krd.

(Source: AUIS)

By Sara al-Qaher for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

India, Iran or Turkey: Iraqi Students look Abroad for Post-Grad Studies

There are no easy options for Iraqi graduates who want to continue their education with post-graduate studies.

If they have good grades, they may try to obtain one of the few free spots at a public university in the country. If their grades are not good enough to take that path, they could try to find a private university in Iraq to attend or opt to study abroad, which could be cheaper.

Given this situation, a growing number of post-graduate students are choosing to leave Iraq, bound for neighboring countries or India, where numerous post-graduate programs are taught in English.

Click here to read the full story.

Iraq Britain Business Council and Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research sign Memorandum of Understanding

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research at the IBBC Cumberland Lodge Retreat on 7 July.

The memorandum was signed by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and H.E. Dr Abdul Razzaq Al-Issa, Iraqi Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The singing was supported and witnessed by Ambassador Jon Wilks CMG, Her Majesty’s A mbassador to the Republic of Iraq and Dr Nahi Al-Rikabi, the Iraqi Cultural Attaché to London.

The memorandum details the commitment of both parties to work together in a constructive and progressive way to further enhance links between Iraqi and UK institutions of higher education.

The partnership is a further boost to the IBBC’s efforts to support initiatives between UK universities and Iraqi institutions of higher education.

IBBC has three British Universities within the council; Bath Spa University, University of Northampton and University of Leicester, who are all active within Iraq and aiming to increase their activities in the country. Mosul University has also recently joined the Council as IBBC continue to expand its Education & Heritage Sector Table.

(Source: IBBC)

By John Lee.

Al Faw Palace has reportedly been selected as the location for the new American University of Iraq – Baghdad (AUIB).

The complex was originally built by Saddam Hussein, then used by the US-led coalition as a camp following the invasion.

The new university is scheduled to open in September 2018, and will house a College of Law, College of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Business.

More here from Rudaw.

By John Lee.

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has welcomed three new members, bringing its membership to 59 companies.

Menzies Aviation: An independent, time-critical logistics specialist serving the airline industry to the highest standards. At more than 200 airport locations across 6 continents, Menzies offer landside and airside services tailored to customers’ needs; timed to their schedules; and delivered by teams with the knowledge, tools and passion to set standards rather than chase them.

XReach: A leading supplier of mobile communications and cyber security solutions to businesses, government, military and law enforcement agencies. It employs high-end system, network and coding development personnel sourced from specialist UK military and government cyber security backgrounds.

The University of Leicester: A leading university committed to international excellence, world-changing research and high quality, inspirational teaching. The University celebrates diversity amongst staff and students; widening participation in higher education and engaging with local, national and international communities.

(Source: IBBC)

By Zep Kalb for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.

In the aftermath of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the country’s educational system all but collapsed. Illiteracy rates have exploded. Universities have turned into sectarian battlegrounds.

Systemic violence — including beatings, rape and death threats — has forced students and faculty out of campuses. As state provision of higher education has receded, private donors have set up alternative institutions, often with a sectarian and religious twist. Foreign actors have also stepped in to fill the void.

Before the US-led invasion, education indicators in oil-rich, Baathist-controlled Iraq improved similarly as in other middle-income countries, and in several ways even more so. The country’s first university, Baghdad University, opened its doors in 1957. In 1968, the government made education free and compulsory at all levels.

In 1977, the eradication of illiteracy was made legally binding. The developmental push appeared to be working. By 1980, Iraq had already achieved near universal primary school enrollment.

Saddam Hussein’s devastating eight-year war with Iran in the 1980s and the sanctions imposed by the West over his invasion of Kuwait in the 1990s slowed these gains.

By 2000, the literacy rate of youth aged 15-24 years old stood at 84.8%, slightly higher than that of regional neighbor Egypt. The gender gap was also narrowing: Female literacy rates stood at 80.5% in 2000, a figure Egypt reached only in 2006. At the same time, underinvestment in education by a cash-strapped government led to an aged and creaking infrastructure.

For all its ills, the collapse of the Baathist regime in 2003 and its replacement with a US-installed government wrecked the country’s educational system. Junior, inexperienced American officers who failed to understand the complexities of maintaining peace between the sects were put in charge of higher education.

By John Lee.

A British academic has said that visiting Iraq has caused him to have problems entering the United States.

Writing in Times Higher Education, Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northampton, said:

My forays [into Iraq] have not been without consequence. In March this year I fell foul of Donald Trump’s travel restrictions from Middle Eastern countries that included Iraq. On a trip to Miami, I was pulled out of the immigration queue by Homeland Security, held for five hours and questioned twice about why I had been to “Syria”.

“My UK ESTA travel authorisation was revoked and replaced by a temporary visa, probably because more paperwork was needed to kick me out than let me in. Whether I’ll be allowed back into the US any time soon is yet to be resolved.

But he says that this experience won’t stop him travelling to Iraq again. “Our rationale for working there and in other challenging territories is simple,” he adds.

Our mission requires it, and frankly the Iraqi people deserve our support given the UK’s historically interventionist stance. One area that we intend to focus on more with our Iraqi partners is healthcare. Another is MBA provision. There are also research opportunities that include exchange visits between staff and students.”

Nick Petford’s full article can be read here.

(Source: Times Higher Education)

The Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Falah Mustafa, attended the opening ceremony of the American Corner in the University of Kurdistan Hewler (UKH) in Erbil.

The American corner will focus on promoting education in the host community, student exchange programs between the Kurdistan Region and the United States, providing electronic databases and promoting American culture.

The event was also attended by United States Consul General in Erbil Ken Gross, Head of the EU office Clarisse Pásztory, UKH Vice Chancellor and a number of officials and representatives of the United Nations, local and international organizations.

In a speech on the occasion, Minister Mustafa appreciated this step and stressed on the importance of expanding cultural and educational bridges and ties between the Kurdistan Region and the United States. The Head of DFR said:

“This is a meaningful contribution of the United States, which has been a partner and ally to the people of Kurdistan Region”.

(Source: KRG)