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The Texas International Education Consortium Partners with American University of Iraq, Sulaimani to Build Capacity for Gender Inclusive and Streamlined Degree Programs

  Media Contact: Anna Charnitski, Texas International Education Consortium [email protected],  512-600-6066   Delawit Mesfin, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) [email protected], +964-771-156-7123   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   [AUSTIN - Nov. 30, 2020] — The Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) will partner with American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) to support AUIS in their mission to advance an enhanced curriculum that prioritizes the robust integration of gender and diversity, as well as developing more marketable degrees. The program contributes to a wider effort by the U.S. Government to support American-style higher education in Iraq as part of its long-term stabilization strategy. COVID-19 has made a challenging higher-education environment even more difficult. Through this program, Texas will serve as a major partner in delivering high-quality education that instills the ideals of peace and tolerance to Iraqi-youth.   TIEC has curated a team of faculty and administrators from Texas A&M University - College Station, Lamar University, Southern Methodist University, Texas State University, Texas Tech University, Texas Woman’s University, The University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Dallas, Navarro College, and the University of North Texas with expertise in instructional design, curriculum development, evaluation, gender, and soft skills development to participate in this project and foster working relationships with AUIS faculty.   "TIEC hopes higher-education partnerships grow as a pillar of the U.S.-Iraq relationship. Texas has so much to share and to gain through these robust people-to-people ties," said Robin J. Lerner, TIEC president and CEO. “TIEC is proud to partner with AUIS to enhance course quality and promote a gender-inclusive and diverse curriculum within the university.”   Together, TIEC and AUIS will build a university-wide approach to support academic programs and courses that adapt and improve over time. This sustainable academic model will meet the goal of attracting a diverse student body that ultimately contributes to a global workforce that promotes tolerance, community resilience, and economic development.    Additionally, AUIS faculty will embark on a two-week Global Educational Leadership Tour in Texas to participate in a multitude of activities, including seminars, university and industry visits, and cultural excursions. The exchange will provide Iraqi faculty with experiential knowledge of American-style higher education and American culture, while strengthening relationships with U.S. faculty.   “The collaboration with TIEC provides us with an excellent opportunity to further refine our academic programs. Having access to cutting-edge expertise and innovation through TIEC’s world-renowned consortium members will support ongoing AUIS efforts to align all curricula with leading benchmarks. This does not only allow us to meet regional and international labor-market needs and global accreditation requirements, but it also ensures our students receive the very best education possible,” said Dr. Wolfgang Hinck, AUIS Vice President of Academic Affairs.   TIEC is thrilled to work with advisory board members: Dr. Meranda Roy, Online Learning Librarian, University of North Texas Dr. Jian Zhang, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Texas Woman’s University Dr. Valerie Hudson, University Distinguished Professor and George H. W. Bush Chair, Professor of International Affairs, Texas A&M - College Station Dr. Choman Hardi, Founder and Director of the Center for Gender and Development Studies, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani Dr. Krystal Hinerman, Clinical Assistant Professor of Educational Research for the Center for Doctoral Studies in the College of Education, Lamar University Dr. Linda Timmerman, Adjunct Professor of English, Navarro College   The project is funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.   Learn more at or contact Anna Charnitski, director of marketing and communications, Texas International Education Consortium, at [email protected], or Delawit Mesfin, director of communications, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, at [email protected]   ###   About The Texas International Education Consortium: The Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) is an alliance of 31 public universities in Texas that facilitates and fosters international education programs and partnerships by, with, and for its university members. Since 1985, TIEC has connected Texas education with the world. From facilitating long-term institutional partnerships to identifying new and innovative professional and educational hosting opportunities, TIEC is an invaluable resource to Texas higher education. TIEC also hosts a highly respected training institute based at its headquarters in Austin that hosts study abroad programs, professional training programs for educators from around the globe, intensive English and university pathways programs for international students, and university to university matchmaking programs between TIEC members and international counterparts.   For more information, visit    About American University of Iraq, Sulaimani: American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) is the first non-governmental, not-for-profit, American-style university in Iraq. Founded in 2007 and operated for the public benefit, it is also the first non-governmental university in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to be accredited by both the federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. It is the only certified member in Iraq of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities (AAICU). The University welcomes students, 35 percent of whom are women, from diverse communities throughout Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.   For more information, visit  

AUIS and the University of Arizona Establish Visionary Partnership to Serve Students in Iraq

      Students in Iraq can forge a path toward a U.S. degree while staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.   SULAIMANI, IRAQ—The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA, and American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, (AUIS) are pleased to announce a Global Campus partnership to help students earn a U.S. degree without leaving their home country during the COVID-19 pandemic.    “Not only does Global Campus help solve the mobility challenges of today caused by COVID-19, it is a meaningful and long-term effort at meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goal of providing accessible quality education to the world,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins.   Given travel restrictions, school delays and visa moratoriums, AUIS has created flexible, affordable options with the University of Arizona to allow students in Iraq to earn a full U.S. degree – or U.S. transfer credits – with full access to the AUIS campus.   “AUIS welcomes this innovative expansion of our academic collaboration with the University of Arizona, at a time when the world needs new approaches to meet the learning needs of an entire generation of students,” said AUIS President Bruce Walker Ferguson.    Students can choose from two new options:  Complete a full U.S. undergraduate degree, graduate degree, or graduate certificate online with complete access to the AUIS campus. Enroll in a pathway program of online courses to prepare for virtually any major and for eventual study in the U.S. Both programs include in-person tutoring and academic support, as well as access to AUIS computer labs and study areas. Clubs and community activities are also included through AUIS.   These new options, offered in partnership with the University of Arizona, are in addition to a microcampus dual degree program launched earlier this year, whereby students in Iraq may enroll at both institutions simultaneously to pursue dual bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering or mechanical engineering.    A new website,, presents students with flexible degree path options and guides them to an adviser who can help create a customized plan.    “The events that caused the current situation in international education have hastened the dawn of a new post-mobility world in which physical travel is unnecessary for the creation and transmission of knowledge across borders,” said Brent White, vice provost of global affairs at Arizona.   “Almost overnight, courses have transitioned to online, and international students are continuing to study while remaining safe at home in their own countries. We want to help them achieve their dreams of a U.S. degree, no matter the circumstances.”    American University of Iraq, Sulaimani AUIS is the first non-government, not-for-profit, American-style university in Iraq. It is also the first non-governmental university in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to be accredited by both the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government and the only university in Iraq to be a certified member of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities (AAICU). Consistently ranked among the top universities in the Kurdistan Region, AUIS welcomes students, 38% of whom are women, from diverse communities throughout Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.   University of Arizona The University of Arizona is a top-ranked public, research university in Tucson, Arizona, USA, and is classified as a Carnegie Foundation Research 1 institution. It is ranked in the Top 100 Best Global Universities by U.S News and World Report. The University of Arizona is known for advancing frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. The University has been a part of every planetary mission with NASA and is the fourth most awarded public university by NASA for research. Top 20 U.S. Public Research Institutions – Times Higher Education Top 1% of 20’000+ universities worldwide – Center for World University Rankings Top 100 in the world – U.S. News and World Report, Best Global Universities.  #11 Online Bachelor’s Program – U.S. News and World Report  

AUIS hosts leadership academy training for Iraqi professionals

  American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) hosted the first class of the Leadership Academy for Development-Iraq (LAD-IQ) training program from July 1-6.   The program is a partnership with Dr. Francis Fukuyama’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Thirty Iraqi participants -- mid- and high-level government officials, business and civil society sector leaders from all over the country -- were selected through a competitive application process. The instructors -- Associate Professor of the Practice, Mary E. Hilderbrand, from the George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, and economist, social entrepreneur and policy innovator, Elena Panaritis -- are leading experts in their fields with decades of experience conducting such trainings.   The four-day intensive program focused on addressing how government can encourage and enable the private sector to play a larger, more constructive role as a force for economic growth and development. It provided participants with an analytical framework to build these leadership abilities and operate effectively under adverse conditions. Major themes additionally covered during the training were: 1) the state and institutions as catalysts for private sector development and economic growth, 2) reforms to strengthen the quality of government, including anti-corruption initiatives and decentralization, 3) strategies for addressing informality, and 4) public-private partnerships in infrastructure.   The last day of the training featured group presentations for which the participants were asked to prepare since the beginning of the training with their respective groups. In short, the groups were required to create powerpoint presentations that addressed an issue in their community and approached that issue using the analytical framework learned during the training. Some major issues addressed by participants in their presentations included plastic waste management in Babil, the unemployment rate among university graduates across Iraq, and women’s rights in the job market. Participants were awarded with certificates for their participation in the training.  

AUIS Partners with CIPE on Training for Iraqi Academics

  The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), in partnership with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) held a seminar for high-level trainers in Iraq. The training, provided by the Leadership Academy for Development (LAD-IQ), was designed for faculty and trainers at policy-focused universities or institutions. The six-day course took place from March 11-17, 2018 in Amman, Jordan, and focused on developing case study teaching methods and equipping faculty with skills to effectively incorporate case studies into their classes. The costs were fully covered by CIPE and AUIS, with generous support from The National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The course was attended by 20 faculty and trainers from all over Iraq, including AUIS faculty member Mamilan Hussein, a lecturer in the Department of Business Administration. At the end of the course, participants were required to give a presentation on teaching a case study. AUIS will host the next training seminar on its campus in Sulaimani this summer. 

AUIS Center for Gender and Development Studies partners with Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Ball State University

Founded in November 2015, the Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) is a flourishing institution inside AUIS, which challenges gender inequality through teaching, research, and community capacity building. In line with its view that education can play a major role in combating gender discrimination and radicalism, CGDS has developed gender-related courses, organized seminars and workshops, and facilitated trainings for AUIS students and the larger community. We are pleased to announce, in order to develop its academic and outreach offerings, CGDS has successfully obtained support from the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) to build a partnership with the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Ball State University (BSU). Securing this competitive IREX grant puts CGDS in an excellent position to develop continuing international programs. Founded in 1918, BSU is located in Indiana, USA. It hosts major and minor programs in Women’s and Gender Studies. The programs address issues affecting women and other marginalized communities based on sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, geography, disability, and religion. BSU has extensive experience working with universities and other learning institutions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, Jordan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Central America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The main goal of the IREX supported partnership is to share best practices, teaching methodologies, and materials that would enhance the educational experience for students in both universities. CGDS aims to develop a program specifically designed for activists in the field of gender equality and an MA program in gender studies. Article written by Raz Yadulla

AUIS Announces Partnerships with SUNY-Albany and Miami University

July 24, 2013 – Sulaimani, Iraq – The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) is pleased to announce new institutional partnerships with the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY-Albany) and Miami University of Ohio (MUO). These collaborations will not only provide AUIS students with exciting new curriculum options and exchange opportunities, but also assist the University in fulfilling its mission to build the region’s human capacity by strengthening the fields of public health, public administration, and water resource management and policy. SUNY-Albany On July 10, AUIS President Athanasios Moulakis met with SUNY-Albany President Robert Jones to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing a cooperative relationship between the institutions. The partnership will include faculty and student exchanges, designing and sharing curriculum, and using online and telecommunications courses as a cooperative mechanism for student learning. The MOU also provided for the possibility of developing joint undergraduate and graduate programs in Public Administration and Public Health. “SUNY Albany offers a number of signal advantages for our students: excellent academic standards, opportunities for fellowships and internships with the New York State Assembly, and a manageable and inexpensive town that would make it easy for our students to be well received and to find their way,” said President Moulakis.  “Central to this partnership is an ambitious initiative to introduce public health education, which would make AUIS a hub not merely for the KRG and Iraq but for the broader region.” Miami University of Ohio AUIS and Miami University recently received a grant from the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Science program to establish a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) pilot program in freshwater science and policy in Tigris River basin. The program will combine a new curriculum with hands-on research and exchange opportunities to teach and train AUIS students in the first stages of becoming scientific and policy experts on Iraqi water issues. The grant provides resources to enhance experiential learning through hands-on research.  Students that complete the new curriculum, which includes courses such as such as: Freshwater Science, Water Policy, and Water in Iraq: Past, Present and Future, will have the opportunity to pursue original research on water in Sulaimani or travel to Miami University to develop projects focused on freshwater science and development in Iraq. “Undergraduates can do a lot if you give them the right tools,” said Dr. CJ Geraci, Assistant Professor of Natural Science and the project’s principal investigator.  “This grant supports our mission and our strength in using research as part of the learning experience." As a further enhancement of human capital, the program will engage AUIS’ Professional Development Institute to train local high school teachers to incorporate environmental issues into their lessons. Additionally, during the 2014 Sulaimani Forum, AUIS will host a panel highlighting the intersection of water and development in Iraq. AUIS students will travel to Ohio to study biodiversity of freshwater invertebrates and other water-related research topics at Miami University's laboratories. About PEER Science Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), PEER Science provides support for researchers in 87 eligible countries worldwide on a wide range of development-related topics, including food security, climate change, water, biodiversity, disaster mitigation, and renewable energy. Applicants to PEER Science work in collaboration with a U.S. partner who holds an active award from the NSF to support research and capacity-building activities on topics of importance to USAID. About SUNY-Albany SUNY-Albany is an internationally recognized public research institution that offers 118 undergraduate majors and minors and 114 graduate programs. Many of these programs are nationally ranked, among them public administration through the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy. Additionally, their School of Public Health has a partnership with the New York State Department of Health that allows  most of their 200+ faculty members at the School have primary appointments at the Department of Health that allows students to have regular access to health experts as teachers, mentors and internship advisors, as well as a vast array of internship opportunities. About Miami University of Ohio Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. Miami offers the bachelor's degree in over 100 areas of study and the master's degree in more than 50 areas, as well as a number of doctoral degrees. In addition to its many academic offerings, Miami University's has an Ecology Research Center that offers a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. The REU provides undergraduates with the opportunity to perform ecological research, attend professional meetings, participate in field trips, and hear well-known scientists speak. About AUIS The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani is a non-profit institution for public benefit located in Sulaimani, Iraq. Currently, the University offers six undergraduate degree programs (Mechanical Engineering, General Engineering, English Journalism, Business Administration, International Studies, and Information Technology) that provide both a solid foundation of knowledge and industry-specific skills and encourage critical thinking. Additionally, the University offers an executive MBA program that prepares professionals to improve their performance in the globalized business environment.
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