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Iraqi Kurdistan Rural University Partnership Program

Students holding certificates

The Iraqi Kurdistan Rural University Partnership Program was designed to create vital connections to the global academic community and to provide capacity-building opportunities for administrators and faculty, promoting higher-education reform in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

In partnership with IREX and funding from the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, the program provided technical assistance to strengthen university administration, reform English language curricula, and enhance instructional methods in English departments.  Universities taking part in the program included the University of Halabja, the University of Zakho, and the University of Raparin.

The program created opportunities for Kurdish university administrators to develop leadership skills to better address management challenges at their universities. Academics from participating universities improved their instruction by learning to utilize student-centered and problem-based teaching methods. 


  • Two pre-conference workshops in January and March 2013  in Erbil, Kurdistan
  • Semesterlong online courses from April through July 2013 in:
    • Higher-education leadership, university governance, technology and internationalization trends, and strategic planning
    • Adult learning, technology in the classroom, using on-line teaching resources, language learning strategies, action research, and using social media for teaching and professional development
  • Capstone experience with strategic planning and action research final project presentations in August 2013

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