In attendance of Dr. Yusuf Goran, the KRG Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and the representative of the KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, during a ceremony the first Catholic university in Iraq, the Catholic University in Erbil was opened on December the 8th, 2015.
In a speech during the opening ceremony, Dr. Yusuf Goran said: “Our young people deserve the best, accordingly the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is working to provide them a new and scientific academy in the Kurdistan region which is the "Catholic University in Erbil."
The official opening of the Catholic University of Erbil was attended by Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, northern Iraq, Mgr Nunzio Galantino, secretary general of the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI), governmental and party officials, and representatives of public and private universities in the Kurdistan Region.
Bishops of Rome Council has supported the university by donating 2.3 million Euros for the project. The new university's programmes will include oriental studies, information technology, languages and economics.
Dr. Yusuf Goran said: “By the opening of this university the number of private universities in the Kurdistan region will increase to 15 universities, and nine institutes. He emphasized “This step will contribute in the progress of higher education sector in the region which has always been a model of coexistence and respect for religious and ethnic diversities."
“The new university will provide new opportunities for students in the region to complete their higher education,” he added.
For their parts, each of Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, northern Iraq, Mgr Nunzio Galantino, secretary general of the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI) and other officials the Catholic University in Erbil thanked the Kurdistan Regional Government for opening the university.
During his speech, Mgr Nunzio Galantino said: "While we open this university, the Christians in the Nineveh plain areas were being displaced in June of the last year. We build a future here, and this academy will be a factor for our survival. "
The Catholic University in Erbil is supported by the Italian Bishops’ Conference and will be a member of the World Federation of Catholic Universities.
The university will not be a "missionary" and the study will be similar to other universities in the Kurdistan region, but the study will be in English.
The University will be open to everyone, and Christians, Muslims; Yazidis students can join the university.