UK universities and schools, working with Levant Education Group, joined forces in Dubai last week (February 23,34) to meet with the Iraqi Ministry of Education to discuss opportunities for collaborations and support for Iraqi scholarship programmes that aim to internationalise Higher Education in Iraq, and to increase quality and capacity.
L-R: Noor Al Zubaidi, Bangor University; Jon Inegbedion, Southampton University; Dave Liston, Liverpool John Moores University; Sarah Byrne, Liverpool School of English; Andrew Mandebura, Huddersfield University; James Kennedy, University of Warwick; Dr Bahaa Kadhum, Director General of Scholarships & Cultural Relations, Iraq Government; Jenny Saville, Nottingham Trent University; David Mitchell, Levant Education Group; Prof R Gill, Middlesex University; Tim Kerrdineen, Kings Colleges.
The aim of the workshop was to clarify procedures for recruiting Iraqi scholarship students. The Iraqi government is aiming to send 10,000 students abroad every year, although estimates of actual starts in the UK so far range between 300 and 1000.
During the event, in a specially arranged session with Dr Bahaa Kadhum, Director general of Scholarships and Cultural Relations, delegates discussed the challenges of preparing and assisting Iraqi students for Masters and PhD studies in the UK.
Attending the event on behalf of language and pathways providers Kings Colleges, Regional Director Tim Kerrdineen commented, “This was a perfect event for us in terms of networking generally and the closed-door session with the Director General of Scholarships. The PG scholarships are driving demand for English and Academic preparation, areas where we are particularly keen to offer our services”
The 2 day event also included focus panels chaired by UNESCO, the Iraq Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research, McGraw Gill Education, GEMS Education, and SSAT Middle East.
Levant Education Group Owner / Director David Mitchell reported, “We saw that the US State Department was very active at the Summit, and US institutions are well advanced with projects to assist the Iraqi Government with providing international education and training. Our goal was to ensure that UK schools / universities were present and meeting key Iraqi education officials, to encourage better mutual understanding of needs and processes, and to begin a dialogue that we are sure will continue in the coming months.
“As part of our Iraq-focus this year, we will also be taking around 20 UK institutions to the Kurdish Region of Iraq in the first week of April, our 4th such mission in 2 years, and have seen the benefit of a UK-focussed approach over the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach of international education / multi-sector fairs”.To register for the next UK Education Tour in Kurdish Iraq, please click here.