Saturday, December 27, 2014

More details on Iraq's new education initiative

Here are some more details about Prime Minister Maliki's new Education Iniative, announced on July 25, 2009, that I believe exemplifies the kind of relationship we need to shape with Iraq in the future.

More details on Iraq's new education initiative

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Here are some more details about Prime Minister Maliki's new Education Iniative, announced on July 25, 2009, that I believe exemplifies the kind of relationship we need to shape with Iraq in the future.

Iraq will be working with AED,  a nonprofit educational consulting firm  in the United States, that works on global education and other social issues, to set up the project. The initiative will send up to 10,000 Iraqi students per year over the next five years to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia to complete their higher education studies.  

The Initiative, created, funded, and managed by Iraq, is designed to mitigate four decades of underdevelopment due to wars and the economic stagnation of the last two decades.  

“We are celebrating the desire of the Iraqis to continue to seek their education [with this initiative],” said Prime Minister al-Maliki, at the announcement of the initiative, which took place at AED's offices.  “Our universities were known for being the most advanced universities in the world, but because of…all that we have gone through…we have lost what we had before.”

Students will be allowed to study nearly all majors and seek all degrees, including some PhDs.   Iraqi students will be especially encouraged to study engineering, education, information technology, business, law and medicine.  All scholarship recipients will be expected to return to Iraq after they complete their overseas programs.

The second phase of the Initiative, expected to start next year, will focus on the rejuvenation of the Iraqi education system from K-12 as well as spotlight higher education reform.

Twenty-two universities, which are founding members of the American Universities Iraq Consortium, will be welcoming these students to their campuses.  
Among these universities are Vanderbilt University, Virginia Commonwealth University, West Virginia University, and Texas A & M.  The University System of Ohio will also admit students per an MOU signed at the July 25 ceremony by Dr. Humadi and Eric D. Fingerhut, Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. The intent of the Consortium is to streamline the admissions process for qualified Iraqi students. More universities are expected to join the Consortium.

The Initiative has the support of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Department of State.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. In 2009-2011 she has made four lengthy trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the past seven years, she visited Iraq eleven times, and also wrote from Iran, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, China, and South Korea.

She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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