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AUS helps rebuild Iraq’s higher education
The World Bank and American University of Sharjah (AUS) launched a training course for about 40 senior Iraqi education leaders, on strategic planning and quality assurance in higher education institutions today, Thursday, May 24, 2012.
The nine-day training course is designed to equip Iraqi university representatives involved in strategic planning and quality assurance with the required skills to improve the quality of education offered by higher learning institutions in Iraq as the country works on improving its education system and building human capital for a knowledge economy.
"Welcome to AUS, and it's a pleasure to see you all here," said Dr. Peter Heath, AUS Chancellor as he welcomed the Iraqi delegation to the university. "We at AUS have a model of education and strategic plan that works for us, but in this training you will learn of a number of other models. It is our hope that at the end of this training, you will discover a model that will work best for each of your institutions as well as effective strategies to make the model work for you."
The training is in line with AUS's strategic goal of becoming the leader in higher education in the Middle East by being able to share its expertise with other countries in the region, especially helping its Arab neighbors such as Iraq achieve their potential.
This training is part of the World Bank's technical assistance project for Iraq to support the development and building capacity in the implementation of an Iraq National Education Strategy and equip Iraqi educational leaders in general education, higher education as well as vocational and technical education to be able to embark on a education reform process to significantly improve the quality and relevance of the education system.
"The purpose of this training is to help Iraq regain its educational position in the region and the world," said Dr. Lianqin Wang, Task Team Leaders and Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank. "We chose to conduct this training here at AUS because of its reputation in academic excellence. We hope that having this training here will also help establish a long-term relationship between these Iraqi educators and AUS so that after the training, they can keep in touch for further collaborations."
"We are very pleased to be at this academic and scientific institution. We have brought a specialized team of educational planners from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and the Ministry of Education, as well as representatives from various higher education institutions in Iraq. This training comes at a crucial stage as we are in the final stages of establishing our educational strategic plan. We are looking forward to learning a lot from this workshop and hopefully many of the things we learn here will be presented and adopted in the strategic plan," said Dr. Salah Al-Nuaimy, Advisor at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Iraq and the head of the Iraqi delegation for the workshop.
The course will touch on important subjects that include: A Framework for Strategic Planning in Institutions of Higher Education; International Trends and Challenges in Higher Education Around the World; Linking Higher Education to the Labor Market; Higher Education and the New Global Economy; Strategies for Higher Education and Resource Planning; University Governance and Institutional Quality: The Structure and Use of the University Screening Card; Accreditation as a Quality Assurance and Institutional Effectiveness Strategy; Aligning Higher Education Planning with Basic and Secondary Education; and many more.
The courses will be conducted by AUS faculty and staff as well as education specialists from the World Bank.
The opening of the workshop was also attended by Dr. Thomas Cassidy, Course Director for the World Bank-Iraq Course on Strategic Planning for Higher Education and Quality Assurance; Salem Al Qaseer, AUS Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs; Ali Shuhaimy, AUS Vice Chancellor Enrollment Management; Dr. Cleve McDaniel, AUS Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration; and other senior officials from both The World Bank and AUS.