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UC Pursues New Direction in Educational Partnerships with Iraq

The University of Cincinnati will be represented at an October college fair in Iraq, aimed at recruiting Iraq’s most talented graduate students to study in the United States.

Date: 10/3/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Provided

UC ingot   The University of Cincinnati will be among 22 U.S. institutions of higher education to take part in the EducationUSA University Fair in Erbil, Iraq. Around 1,000 students – funded by an Iraqi government scholarship to study in the U.S. – are expected to attend the fair, which takes place Oct. 13-15. Nazanin Tork, a graduate admissions officer with UC International Admissions, will represent UC at the college fair.
Nazanin Tork
Nazanin Tork

Tork says the fair is an opportunity for international admissions officers at American universities to meet with some of that country’s most academically talented students and Iraqi education advisors to explain the U.S. college admissions process. Tork says UC is a participant as part of the University System of Ohio’s commitment to the Iraq Education Initiative.

The Iraq Education Initiative – fully funded by Iraq – is designed to rebuild that country by building on educational opportunities for its young people. In 2009, the University System of Ohio (USO) became the first statewide system to participate in the Iraq Education Initiative, to increase the number of international students studying and graduating in Ohio.

The USO joined the initiative to build on the global experiences of Ohio students as they studied with the best and brightest students from Iraq. Academically talented students from Iraq are awarded funding from their government by agreeing to study and achieve their college degree in the United States, then return home to help rebuild the country. The Higher Committee for Education Development in Iraq (HCED) Scholarships support graduate-level (master’s and doctoral) students.

Tork says that around the time of the EducationUSA University Fair, the Iraqi government will be funding 2,000 scholarships for students to study in the U.S. The long-term goals are to have 10,000 Iraqi students studying abroad on the scholarships.

“Through the USO agreement with the Iraq Education Initiative, the state of Ohio is expected to get about a third of the number of the Iraqi students who are coming to study in the United States,” Tork says.

“We’re hoping by fall 2012, we’ll have 20 fully funded graduate students from Iraq studying at UC through this initiative,” says Tork.

Other UC Partnerships with Iraq

UC’s College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) and Carl H. Lindner College of Business are in the second year of a three-year educational partnership with Salahaddin University-Hawler in Erbil, Iraq, a Kurdish region in Northern Iraq. UC is one of five U.S. higher education institutions involved in the partnership, which is funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of State. The linkages program aims to strengthen the expertise of Iraqi faculty in teaching and research, strengthen online learning and teaching skills, build international exchange opportunities, establish a community career center and increase fluency in English.

Participating Institutions in the Upcoming EducationUSA University Fair in Iraq

DePaul University
Eastern Washington University
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Michigan State University
Middle Tennessee State University
Missouri State University
Murray State University
Portland State University
Seton Hall University
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Southern New Hampshire University
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas
University of Cincinnati
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
University of New Haven
Utah State University
Valparaiso University
Western Kentucky University