President's Welcome


My warmest welcome to the AUIS community, with a special welcome to our new students, faculty, and staff.


Since its founding in 2007 the University has grown into a leading institution for higher education in Iraq and its Kurdistan region. AUIS is a private, not-for-profit university operated for the public benefit and with no investors. We are student-centered.


Our students come from all over Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, from Erbil and Sulaimani, Mosul and Kirkuk, Baghdad and Basra, Najaf and Al Nasiriya, Germany and Australia. Some come from small towns, others from large cities. Some students are from wealthy families, others from refugee camps. Ninety percent of our students receive financial support from the University, governments, or private donors, including generous support from the U.S Government for students whose lives have been uprooted by war. All of our students attend AUIS because of the opportunities it offers for a better life for them, for their families, and for their communities.


At AUIS, we are dedicated to creating and building these opportunities. We are proud that our surveys show 80 percent of AUIS alumni are employed or pursuing graduate study in places such as the Netherlands, the United States, and Japan.


We are proud of our students who last year participated successfully in the Jessup international law competition in Washington, D.C., and in the Hult Prize international entrepreneurship competition in Malaysia and England.  


We are proud that our faculty and staff bring viewpoints and experiences from nineteen different countries, and that all of our graduates are fluent in two or more languages.   


We are proud of all our students who work hard to meet the University’s demanding academic requirements to achieve a brighter future.  


At AUIS, learning outside the classroom is just as important as learning in class. Last year, nearly 200 students volunteered almost 6,000 hours, collecting books to help rebuild the library at the University of Mosul, tutoring their fellow students, raising funds for a local hospital, and assisting the Sulaimani community.


Our students are also involved in dozens of student-run organizations, built around interests ranging from chess to engineering to football. Since 2013, students have democratically chosen their representatives for the AUIS Student Association, annually electing a president and twelve senators. Such student activities develop vital skills of leadership, self-reliance, and teamwork. They build connections within our University, and connections with other communities throughout the world.


The coming year will see the development of exciting new opportunities:


- A longstanding partnership in legal education with Stanford University has blossomed into an important new B.A. in Law degree, to be offered for the first time this year.


- Eligible students will be admitted for the first time into other new majors that include Software Engineering and Translation.


- The University will complement its internationally recognized English language program with new courses in Arabic and Kurdish, helping our graduates to succeed in the multilingual professional environment of modern Iraq and beyond.  


- The University’s new Five Year Strategic Plan helps increase academic excellence, relevance of the University to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, and educational innovation.


- AUIS will soon announce an exclusive, innovative joint degree program with a major U.S. research university that will allow our students to earn U.S. degrees in Engineering, IT, and Business without leaving Iraq.


- A recent grant from the European Union to the AUIS Center for Gender and Development Studies (CGDS) will support student research as well as faculty scholarship.


The University’s collaborations with other highly-respected universities, and its ability to attract global thinkers and policy makers to events such as Sulaimani Forum and IRIS Dialogues that have high regional and international impact, strengthen AUIS’s role in linking Iraq and the Kurdistan Region to the rest of the world and attract people, gifts and grants from abroad. These critical strengths are central to our mission of educating our students to become future leaders.


Whether you join us on campus for your first term, your final term, or any term in between, I wish you a successful and enjoyable experience at AUIS.


With warm regards,


Bruce Walker Ferguson, A.B., Ed.M., M.B.A., J.D.