The ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Kurdistan Region is receiving full support from many academic and official views in the US for its programs in quality assurance and capacity building.
Dr. Beriwan Khailany, the adviser of the ministry for scientific affairs said; a delegation from the ministry made a visit to the US and have signed memorandum of understanding in the field of quality assurance and accreditation in higher education, and human capacity building, she pointed out the delegation first stop was George Mason University, they have agreed with the officials of the university to activate the project of quality assurance and accreditation in universities in Kurdistan, the project is sponsored by the British Council within Delphi program.
Delphi is a pilot project for cooperation between UK and Iraqi universities and its sponsored by the British side and total amount of 3 Million GBP(about $4.876M, IQD 5.754Billion) is allocated for the project which lasts to 2012, the main objectives of the program is mutual work and joint efforts between Iraqi and UK universities and institutes through some initiatives and projects within Delphi program for individual and firms capacity building in higher education in Kurdistan and Iraq in general which eventually lead to prepare skilled and experienced staff that contribute in developing higher education.
The delegation agreed with George Mason to schedule the activities of the directorates of quality assurance in the ministry and the universities and technical boards to make use of the skills and expertise of universities in US, the activities of the program will last for 2 years 2011-2012 and include visits to George Mason university and organizing webinars and video conferences in addition to workshops and other activities.
She explained that one of the very first activities will be the organizing of a video conference to discuss the facts about universities and other scientific institutes in Kurdistan, and the development and changes happened in quality assurance during 2010 to find out strength and weakness points, this activity will be followed by a visit organized for directors of quality assurance to George Mason in April 2011, the visit will be then assessed via a video conference and report it to the UK council.
Dr. Beriwan added the delegation has agreed with admission board of the university to facilitate the admission for Kurdish students willing to study there.
In a relevant event, Dr. Beriwan said the delegation has discussed with the American board for education ways of building joint work, she added that this board is the biggest non-government organization in the US which represent all educational sectors and aiming at preparation of academicians who will lead universities, drafting of scientific research policies, general approaches inside academic institutes in addition to preparation of female academic leaderships.
In another activity of delegation, agreement is reached on draft of MoU with Western Universities and colleges accreditation commission, she said; the president of the commission Mr. Ralph Wolf showed his support to the ministry in its programs and he called the directors of quality assurance to participate in the conference for quality which will be organized by the commission in next April.
The delegation also discussed many topics with science and technology officials in the department of state such as Dr. Andrew Ronalds, adviser to Hilary Clinton for science e and technology affairs, Patricia Burks, adviser for diplomatic affairs ways of supporting and expanding the cooperation between Kurdish and US universities, facilitating the procedures for students admission, in addition to strengthen ties with Kurdish academics and their counter parts in US through a joint committee and to obtain scholarship for women within the capacity building.
The delegation also asked the US department of state to help in the supply of advanced labs and sophisticated apparatus, which will be mainly supplied by elite universities in US such as Harvard and some other universities.