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European-Kurdish Cooperation in University Reform is seen as a Model for Iraq: The interview of Al-Fanar Media

The Kurdistan region of Iraq has largely escaped the negative effects of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the ensuing conflict. UNIMED’s consultation with Kurdish universities found, however, that they faced difficulties in equalising certificates, transferring professors to European universities, and implementing the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, or ECTS, the standard means for comparing academic credits in the European Higher Education Area.

Al Fanar Media, UNIMED’s media partner, has recently interviewed some of the Kurdish university leaders and representatives from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Kurdistan region of Iraq involved in the APPRAIS project.

The project, coordinated by UNIMED, aims at rebuilding and modernising the governance of higher education institutions in Kurdistan, addressing strategic planning , management and quality assurance, with a particular focus on enhancing the capacities of human resources and proposing a reform for the local Higher Education system through the implementation of the Bologna process.

According to Mohammed Hussein Ahmed, Head of Apparatus of Supervision and Quality Assurance at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Kurdistan region of Iraq , the project is part of a new strategy of radical reform adopted by the Ministry to meet the challenges of globalisation, and its aim is “to convey the academic excellence of European universities to Kurdistan universities, in particular through implementing the Bologna Process, quality assurance and good governance.”

In this framework, the Kurdish Higher Education Institutions will receive support in order to meet international standards and become more attractive for international students.

As Silvia Marchionne – project manager at UNIMED – underlines, the common hope is that the results of the APPRAIS project “can be easily transferred to other Iraqi Kurdish universities”, thus functioning as a positive model for the region and beyond.

You can find the full article here in English and here in Arabic.

To know more on the APPRAIS project, you can visit the project website : www.appraisproject.eu