American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) will offer a new Bachelor’s degree in law after receiving approval from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, University President Bruce Walker Ferguson announced today. The new AUIS Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Law degree will be awarded to students completing a rigorous five-year course of study that includes advanced language study in Arabic and English together with extensive practical experience from internships. Building on the popular law minor at AUIS, the new major will offer university-level law courses in both English and Arabic, as well as a broad array of courses in the natural and social sciences that are part of the University’s renowned Core Curriculum. The legal studies program at AUIS has been in development in collaboration with Stanford Law School, the number two law degree program in the United States. Last spring, students from AUIS represented Iraq in the final round of the international Jessup Moot Court competition, held in Washington, D.C. “We thank the Ministry for approving this innovative new academic program, and look forward to continuing our longstanding collaboration with Stanford,” President Ferguson stated. “The new major is designed to provide our graduates with excellent employment opportunities in Iraq and its Kurdistan region, particularly with employers who require their lawyers to have a solid understanding of international law as well as national and regional law.” Employers value the English language proficiency and work ethic of AUIS graduates, resulting in a high percentage (81%) of AUIS graduates who are in graduate school or employed, predominantly in the private sector. Professor Erik G. Jensen, Director of the Rule of Law Program at Stanford Law School and faculty member of Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL), welcomed the news of the law major. “We’re delighted,” he said. “We’ve been working in partnership [with AUIS] for the last six or seven years, first offering a couple of classes, then offering a minor in law, and now a major in law.” Jensen added that his students at Stanford Law School have already begun writing working papers to support the curriculum design of the new B.A. at AUIS. Applications for the new law degree are now being accepted. Prospective students may contact the AUIS admissions department at [email protected]
SULAIMANI, February 19, 2018 - Students from the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) will represent Iraq at the 59th Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington, DC this April after receiving the first place prize during the national qualifying rounds on February 12. The Jessup Competition is the largest moot court competition in the world with participants from 645 law schools in 95 countries. Teams will represent fictional nation states in disputes before a panel of judges in a model of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations’ principal judicial organ. Led by faculty advisor Prof. Ali Ahmed, AUIS students Linda A. Alkarim, Mohammed Fatih, Mohammed Nasih, Rawezh Othman, and Shatoo Diyar Bakir competed against three other teams before a panel of ten judges in the Iraqi qualifying rounds at Erbil’s Salahaddin University. “I’m so impressed with the way our students performed,” Prof. Ahmed said. “The team has overcome so many challenges and came out on top against some of the best law students in the country.” This year marks the first time AUIS students have participated in the Jessup Competition, while the University previously hosted qualifying rounds in 2016. ### AUIS is the first non-government, not-for-profit, American-style institution of higher education in Iraq. Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, 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. The University welcomes students, 35% of whom are women, from Iraq’s diverse communities, including Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, Yazidis and Christians as well as Syrian refugees. Follow AUIS on Twitter or Facebook, or visit www.auis.edu.krd for the latest news and details about the University. If you would like to help support the University and its students, please visit the American University of Iraq Foundation's giving site or contact Liza O’Connor-Stroud, Vice President Advancement, at [email protected] For media requests, please contact Delawit Mesfin, Director of Communications, at [email protected]
The Forum will host panels on a diverse range of issues, from the current crises in Iraq and Syria and the struggle against Daesh, to the requirements for long-term, durable peace and stability. March 6, 2017 - Sulaimani (KRG), Iraq – The fifth annual Sulaimani Forum will take place on March 8-9, 2017 at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani under the title Beyond Daesh: Ending the Cycle of Conflicts, Toward Durable Solutions. More than 400 participants from Iraq, Kurdistan, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and the United States will attend eight panel discussions over two days to discuss the current challenges and long term solutions for the Middle East. The central theme of this year’s Forum calls on government leaders, international experts and commentators to discuss the immediate challenges in Iraq and Syria, but also to move the discussion beyond the current challenges to consider solutions that have long term impact on the region's stability and prosperity. The panel discussions will focus on a diverse range of fundamental issues that are hampering states of the region from meeting their full potential: humanitarian crisis; good governance; investment and growth; institutional development; education and innovation; and inter-faith dialogue. Confirmed speakers and guests include former and current ministers, senior officials, and the leading analysts, scholars, sector leaders and journalists from the Middle East and North Africa region, Europe and the United States. A few of our featured analysts and academics include Francis Fukuyama (Stanford University), Jon Alterman (Center for Strategic and International Studies), David Miliband (International Rescue Committee), Henri Barkey (Wilson Center), Sir John Jenkins (Institute of International and Strategic Studies), Tamara Cofman Wittes (Brookings Institution), Carl Gershman (National Endowment of Democracy), and senior commentators from international media outlets: Peter Bergen (CNN), Lyse Doucet (BBC), Jane Arraf (NPR), Mina Al-Oraibi, and Susan Glasser (Politico) among many others. The complete list of our featured guests and the program for the two days will be available on our website at www.auis.edu.krd/sulaimaniforum. Notes to Editors: Visit our website: http://auis.edu.krd/sulaimaniforum Live webcast: http://auis.edu.krd/sulaimaniforum/live-stream Become a Facebook fan: @thesulaumaniforum; @auisofficial; @irismideast Follow us on Twitter: @AUIS_NEWS; @IRISMideast; #SuliForum Download the Sulaimani Forum app: iOS | Android Access our photo archive on Flickr: http://bit.ly/2maisbD Watch previous Sulaimani Forum sessions: http://bit.ly/2n1z2YL For media inquiries, please contact Bzhar Boskani, AUIS Public Relations & Media Manager, at [email protected] or (964) 770-152-1893. For more information about the Forum, please send your inquiries to [email protected]
Recognition of a private university in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region is the first by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Baghdad. February 23, 2017 - Sulaimani (KRG, Iraq): The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) today announced that it has been awarded full accreditation by Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. AUIS is the first private university in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to receive such accreditation and had worked for several years to meet the Ministry’s accreditation standards. The accreditation opens up new employment and graduate education opportunities for AUIS alumni in Iraq and other countries. “We thank the Ministry for its decision, which reflects the University’s devotion to excellence in learning, teaching and research,” said President Bruce Walker Ferguson. “The Iraqi Government’s support of innovation in higher education sends a strong message of hope and progress. The AUIS community will continue its efforts to meet the highest academic standards in Iraq and abroad, as we build bridges from the University, its graduates and the region to the rest of the world.” AUIS is also accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region. The AUIS English language program is the only one in the region accredited by the U.S. Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA). With this new development, AUIS hopes to welcome an even more diverse student body leading to a more open, competitive and inclusive environment on campus. The University plans to open an admissions office in Baghdad this year to assist prospective students living outside the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Established in 2007, AUIS is an independent, not-for-profit university dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching and research. Its comprehensive liberal arts education develops leaders who make a difference in Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and the wider region. Reflecting Sulaimani’s location at an international crossroads, the University’s 1,600 students and 240 faculty and staff include Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, Ezidis and Christians, who live and study together in a culture that fosters critical thinking, tolerance, and community involvement. Academic freedom is a principle guaranteed in teaching, learning, and research in a manner identical to that found at regionally accredited colleges and universities in the United States. Follow AUIS on Twitter and Facebook for latest news and updates. For more information, please contact Bzhar Ali Boskani, Media and Public Relations Adviser, at [email protected] or 964(0)770-152-1893. #Excited to share #news that #AUIS has been awarded full #accreditation from #Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education. https://t.co/fL53yeWgPM pic.twitter.com/kwEQhWURlH — AUIS (@AUIS_NEWS) February 23, 2017 Congrats to @AUIS_NEWS for receiving full accreditation, opening new horizons for brilliant & diverse student body. https://t.co/e2UUvDYw6G — Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) February 24, 2017 Excellent news, many congratulations! Better late than never. https://t.co/HL9gTYiheT — Hayder al-Khoei (@Hayder_alKhoei) February 24, 2017 Well done, another success and joyful chapter in @AUIS_NEWS story book. https://t.co/POhbjKBLLU — Lukman Faily (@FailyLukman) February 24, 2017 Congratulations, AUIS. Decision long in the making and long overdue. Opens good opportunities for the brilliant AUIS students. https://t.co/tVUpCMO8GC — Ahmed Ali (@IraqShamel) February 24, 2017 MASSIVE news for our university! Great step going forward. https://t.co/JUuP49XQRq — AUIS Voice (@TheAUISVoice) February 23, 2017
Press Release IMMDF, AUIS Announce New Scholarship Program Students to be trained in development finance relevant to the region February 6, 2017 - Sulaimani (KRG, Iraq): The Iraq Middle Market Development Fund (IMMDF) will provide two full year scholarships for students interested in and committed to development, finance, business and entrepreneurship at The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS). The partnership agreement was signed at AUIS today in a ceremony attended by officials from IMMDF, AUIS faculty members and students, and the U.S. Consulate General in Erbil. The agreement was signed by IMMDF General Manager Jorge Vila and AUIS President Bruce Walker Ferguson. The U.S. Consul General Ken Gross was also in attendance. Through this partnership, IMMDF will deliver a five-week credit seminar on principles of development finance, free of charge, to AUIS students. The goal of the seminar is for AUIS students to learn business skills relevant to employers and for IMMDF to increase the level of development finance expertise in the region. Two students who perform exceptionally well throughout the course will receive a full scholarship, funded by IMMDF, for their final year of study at AUIS. Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Vila said, “AUIS and IMMDF have been cooperating for a long time. AUIS students were among the first to join IMMDF’s Internship Program in 2012. We are delighted at this new opportunity to increase our cooperation with AUIS and we look forward to sharing with AUIS students the lessons learnt by IMMDF through our 11 years financing Iraqi small and medium size companies to create employment and economic growth.” “This innovative university-industry partnership adds depth to the AUIS curriculum in ways that will greatly benefit the region,” said President Ferguson at the signing ceremony. “By developing our students’ skills in vitally needed areas, the new program helps to build local capabilities that address urgent development needs. We commend IMMDF for its generous support of our students and for its creative approach to meeting the challenges that confront Iraq and its Kurdistan region.” - ENDS - The Iraq Middle Market Development Foundation (IMMDF) was created in 2004 to finance projects of Iraqi private small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) that generate employment and economic growth in Iraq. IMMDF has been financing SMEs in Iraq since 2005 to the tune of US$ 120 million, disbursing loans to a total of 53 Iraqi companies and in the process creating nearly 2,000 direct jobs and many thousands indirect jobs at suppliers and clients of IMMDF borrowers. Established in 2007 as an independent, not-for-profit institution, AUIS is dedicated to providing a comprehensive liberal arts education for the benefit of young men and women from Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and the wider region. The University’s 1,600 students develop a responsible character with the knowledge and skills needed for professional and national leadership. AUIS graduates are in high demand, with most employed in the private sector by prestigious international and local companies. More than 80 percent of our alumni are either employed or enrolled in top-tier graduate programs around the world. For more information, please contact: Bzhar Ali Boskani, AUIS Media and Public Relations Adviser at [email protected] or 964(0)770-152-1893. Jorge R. Vila, IMMDF General Manager at [email protected] or +964-770-502-4932
Press Release December 07, 2016 - Sulaimani (KRG), Iraq - The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) today announced the appointment of Dr. Mazen Bou Khuzam as the new Dean of Faculty and Rachel Laribee Gresk as the Director of Academic Administration and Accreditation. The two positions were created after the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Esther Mulnix, earlier in the year announced her decision to leave AUIS. Dr. Bou Khuzam, who will take up his position as Dean of Faculty on January 1, 2017, has served at AUIS since 2013 as Assistant Professor and Chair of the Mathematics and Natural Sciences Department. On accepting the new position, he said, “I am truly honored to be appointed as Dean of Faculty at AUIS. During the past three years, my main role as the Chair of the Mathematics and Natural Sciences Department was to focus on quality and excellence in teaching. I now look forward to working with the entire faculty to continue to promote educational excellence in the Kurdistan Region and in all of Iraq." Dr. Bou Khuzam has taught at the university level for more than thirteen years in the Middle East. He holds a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Cambridge, where he was President of the Cambridge University Middle East Society. Congratulating Dr. Bou Khuzam on his appointment, AUIS President Bruce Walker Ferguson noted with gratitude the important contributions made to the University by Dr. Mulnix, and his appreciation for the new Dean’s ongoing service to AUIS. “Dr. Mazen embodies much of what is best at AUIS: excellence in teaching and research, dedication to student learning, and productive collaboration with his colleagues. We have admired his work as department chair and look forward to his academic leadership as Dean of Faculty. " AUIS has also appointed Rachel Laribee Gresk as the new Director of Academic Administration and Accreditation, who will report to the Dean of Faculty. “As a member of the AUIS community since 2009, I am honored to move into this new position. I look forward to continuing to work with our dedicated and hardworking team to make AUIS a premier institution for our students,” said Gresk, who formerly headed the AUIS Academic Preparatory Program where she led the highly acclaimed program to US accreditation, the only such program internationally accredited in Iraq. Mrs. Gresk is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A Selection Committee comprised of members of the AUIS Board of Trustees and senior management advised President Ferguson on the appointments. About The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani Established in 2007 as a not-for-profit institution, AUIS is dedicated to providing a comprehensive liberal arts education for the benefit of young men and women from Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and the wider region. The University seeks to produce graduates of responsible character with the necessary knowledge and skills for professional and national leadership. The academic program, taught in the English language by international faculty, is designed to develop strength in critical thinking, the ability to communicate well, a strong work ethic, good citizenship and personal integrity. The growing student body at AUIS represents the region’s diverse ethnic and religious landscape as the University continues to be the destination of choice of more than 1,600 students. Reflecting Sulaimani’s location at an international crossroads, Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, Ezidis and Christians, live and study together in an open culture fostering diversity and tolerance. Academic freedom is a principle guaranteed in teaching, learning, and research in a manner identical to that found at regionally accredited colleges and universities in the United States. As a non-profit institution for the public good, the University and its assets are not owned by any individual or group of individuals. Visit the AUIS website and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest information and news. For English language and international media, please contact Mehr Zahra, Director of Communications, at [email protected] or 964(0)772-339-9305. For Kurdish and Arabic media requests, please contact Bzhar Boskani, Media and Public Relations Adviser, at [email protected] or 964(0)770-152-1893
Tuesday, November 8, 2016 - Sulaimani (KRG), Iraq: A 2-day conference (October 30th and 31st) brought together national and international experts to explore new approaches to monitor, protect and preserve the cultural heritage of all Iraq. This was the first time that such a conference has been held in Iraq covering this topic, and we hope it will not be the last. The conference, jointly organized by the AUIS Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (CACHE), the University of Oxford Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East & North Africa (EAMENA) project, and the University of Sulaimani, drew upon the experience of projects and approaches that have been successful throughout the wider Middle East in protecting local cultural heritage. The conference was opened with speeches by Mala Awat who leads the General Directorate of Antiquities in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Qais Hussain Rasheed, Director-General of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Baghdad. >> View photo gallery of the conference >> Towards a better future with cultural heritage: EAMENA blog In his keynote speech, Dr Robert Bewley, director of EAMENA, discussed future strategies for the project with specific reference to Iraq. He stressed the importance of looking beyond conflict as an agent of destruction; the impact of agricultural intensification, urban development, mining and extraction and dam building is also significant in damaging archaeological sites. A better understanding of these threats is key to minimising future damage to heritage in the region. Other projects represented at the conference, such as the ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiative and the SHIRIN collaboration for Syria, discussed the scale of cultural destruction in the last few years alone. ASOR in particular noted that Daesh targeted Islamic heritage, provoking retaliation from Shia militia and further damage to religious buildings. Professor Roger Matthews, President of RASHID, proposed the establishment of a Blue Shield Committee for Iraq (Blue Shield being cultural heritage’s equivalent of the Red Cross, with an international committee and many national committees around the world). Local officials and practitioners discussed their own experiences of challenges facing cultural heritage in Iraq, especially the lack of available funds given the ongoing war against Daesh, and proposed practical approaches by the international community that can make the greatest difference on the ground. Dr May Shaer, UNESCO Iraq, is creating games and cartoons to make the past accessible to the next generation. Dr Bijan Rouhani of the Global Heritage Fund is a leading member of the AMAL project which has designed a free smartphone app to allow anyone to help protect heritage. Dr Abdullah Khorsheed Qadar showed what is being done to conserve heritage, with great effect, at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage, in Erbil. Dr Tobin Hartnell from AUIS pointed out that we need to support capacity building on the ground for cultural heritage and tourism now or risk future generations growing up without a heritage and without a job. A highlight of the meeting was a panel session featuring local and international experts, which focused on the destruction of heritage in Mosul, including archaeologists and heritage professionals from Mosul displaced by the occupation by Daesh. Professor Roger Matthews (President of RASHID) suggested we “think global, but act local” for Mosul’s future, and that we do not rush into decisions regarding reconstruction of damaged monuments, without full consultation with local and national stake-holders. This conference has been made possible with the generous support of our partners, including the European Union Delegation to Iraq, The Barakat Trust, and The Gerald Averay Wainwright Fund. All participants were very grateful to the translators who provided a simultaneous commentary in Kurdish, Arabic and English. See photos of the conference on our Facebook page: http://bit.ly/2fAKacH More information on the conference, speakers and the programme can be found at www.protectingthepast.com. Follow us on Facebook @protectingthepast and @auisofficial and on Twitter @eamena123 and @auis_news for the latest updates, photos, videos and podcasts from the event. For media enquiries or interview requests, please contact Mehr Zahra, director of communications at AUIS, at [email protected] or +964(772)339-9305. If you wish to contact EAMENA, please email [email protected]
November 6, 2016 - Sulaimani (KRG), Iraq - The Board of Trustees of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) elected Dr. Jill Derby as the new Chair at the annual Board meeting on November 1, 2016 in Washington D.C. The Board held the election as the former Chair, Dr. Barham Salih, stepped down from the position after completing his term according to the bylaws of the University. He had held the position since the founding of the University in 2007. “Founded just ten years ago, AUIS is a remarkable success story of diversity, openness and education at its best. In an article for the New York Times, Thomas Friedman once called AUIS Iraq’s best hope, “an American university that is teaching the values of inclusiveness.” We owe this remarkable success to the visionary leadership and dedication of our founder Dr. Barham Salih. I will strive to carry forward his commitment to excellence which AUIS embodies, and his devotion to the students the University serves,” said Dr. Derby, who has been a member of the AUIS Board of Trustees since September 2012 and was previously serving as the Vice Chair. Congratulating Dr. Derby on her new appointment, AUIS President Bruce Walker Ferguson said, “Dr. Barham’s contributions to the University, as founder and as a visionary force, have been crucial to the introduction of modern liberal arts education to the region. Dr. Jill’s long experience in American higher education will help AUIS attain the next level of high-quality, affordable undergraduate education. I look forward to continuing to work with both of these remarkable trustees and commend their commitment and dedication to the students and faculty of AUIS.” During the meeting, the Board expressed its appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Barham Salih in a resolution: “The Board of Trustees, on behalf of the students, staff, faculty, alumni, and other members of the community at The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, conveys to Dr. Barham Salih its deepest respect and gratitude for the inspiration, visionary leadership and tireless effort he has provided for more than a decade as our founder and Chair.” The Board also elected Dr. Bakhteyar Shamsadeen as the new Vice Chair, re-elected Azzam Alwash as the new Secretary, and elected Mr. Mohammed Ali as Treasurer. In another resolution, the Board acknowledged its gratitude and respect for the “troops in the Kurdistan’s peshmerga, Iraqi military and security forces, the U.S. armed forces, and other coalition military and security units fighting to defend a peaceful and just society in the Kurdistan region and across Iraq.” For more information about the AUIS Board of Trustees, please visit www.auis.edu.krd/board-trustees Jill Derby is a governance consultant with the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), where she has worked for more than ten years to enhance governance effectiveness and performance among American and Canadian higher education boards. She served on two Nevada college faculties before transitioning to a policy role on the Nevada Board of Regents. She was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity by the U.S. Senate in 2011. She received her PhD from the University of California, Davis with a concentration on the Arab Middle East. Read full profile. About the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani Established in 2007 as a not-for-profit institution, AUIS is dedicated to providing a comprehensive liberal arts education for the benefit of young men and women from Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and the wider region. The University seeks to produce graduates of responsible character with the necessary knowledge and skills for professional and national leadership. The academic program, taught in the English language by international faculty, is designed to develop strength in critical thinking, the ability to communicate well, a strong work ethic, good citizenship and personal integrity. As a non-profit institution for the public good, the University and its assets are not owned by any individual or group of individuals. The growing student body at AUIS represents the region’s diverse ethnic and religious landscape as the University continues to be the destination of choice of more than 1,600 students. Reflecting Sulaimani’s location at an international crossroads, Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, Ezidis and Christians, live and study together in an open culture fostering diversity and tolerance. Academic freedom is a principle guaranteed in teaching, learning, and research in a manner identical to that found at regionally accredited colleges and universities in the United States. As a non-profit institution for the public good, the University and its assets are not owned by any individual or group of individuals. Follow AUIS on Twitter @auis_news and Facebook @auisofficial for latest information and news. For media enquiries or interview requests, please contact Mehr Zahra, director of communications, at [email protected] or 964(0)772-3399-305.
September 6, 2016 - Sulaimani (KRG), Iraq: The American University of Iraqi, Sulaimani (AUIS) is proud to announce the new AUIS Youth Engagement Scholarships for candidates applying to the undergraduate program in the Early Admissions Round this year. The new Scholarship recognizes extracurricular achievement in leadership and good citizenship. It helps ensure that engaged and active young members of society have access to high quality education regardless of their financial resources or baccalaureate scores. The Scholarships will be awarded to three students who are accepted into AUIS during the Fall 2016 Early Admissions Round. Each Scholarship will fund 25 percent of an AUIS Youth Engagement Scholar’s tuition for the full duration of their study at AUIS. The Scholarship is open to all applicants meeting the minimum admissions requirements for AUIS programs. Announcing the new Scholarship, AUIS President Bruce W. Ferguson said, “The new AUIS Youth Engagement Scholarship recognizes that good leadership flows from energy, teamwork and wisdom as well as from academic achievement. We hope the new scholarship program will encourage our students to think broadly about how they can use their university education to benefit their community and society.” Applicants will be required to demonstrate engagement in any area of citizenship and leadership through a personal statement or a video essay. This could include volunteering for a cause; active participation with a club or civic organization; starting a new business; public performances in sports, music, or the arts; and other activities in which the student has demonstrated individual excellence and the ability to work effectively with people outside of the classroom. Candidates will be eligible to apply for the scholarship once they have submitted their undergraduate application to AUIS. The deadline to apply for this scholarship is October 3, 2016. Click here to read more about eligibility, application and selection criteria for the scholarship.
August 18, 2016 - Sulaimani (KRG), Iraq: Around 100 students from the Academic Preparatory Program (APP) at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) hosted an event to clean up areas surrounding Lake Dukan in Sulaimani today. They were joined in their efforts by staff and faculty members, as well as AUIS President, Bruce Walker Ferguson. The event was part of the APP Service Learning Program for the students to encourage learning outside of the classroom, as well as to develop the young students' critical thinking and communications skills. "AUIS is teaching our students that learning goes beyond classroom. We want to encourage our students to engage in the community in order to change their environment for the better. I truly believe that our students are the key to a better Kurdistan," said Rachel Gresk, APP director, who also joined the students at the cleanup. This year, the students decided on two service learning goals: helping refugees and those displaced by conflict in Iraq, and protecting the environment. Over the course of the last semester, the students have been fundraising and developing close partnerships with local NGOs for their initiatives. The lake cleanup is the latest initiative by the environment protection group, who are partnering with Waterkeepers Iraq (NGO) to find meaningful ways to raise awareness about protecting the environment in Sulaimani and surrounding areas. The students used a crowdfunding campaign to raise $1000 for the cleanup. The volunteers spent the afternoon clearing trash and litter left by tourists and picnickers on the lakeshore. "We took part in this project because we want to save our environment and our nature. This is our responsibility," said Ismail Jamal, APP student and president of the AUIS Environment Keepers club. "We regularly hold such activities to raise awareness about environmental issues and to educate people about the consequences of polluting clean water and green spaces," said Mr. Nabil Musa from Waterkeepers Iraq, who accompanied the students at the cleanup. "We encourage students to participate in these activties to protect nature. We are very happy to partner with AUIS on this project and are really proud of what these students have accomplished." Another group of APP students has also raised funds to supplement the irrigation of public parks and newly-planted trees in Sulaimani, in consultation with the Sulaimani Garden Directorate, to find the best ways to preserve green space in the city. To that end, they have raised over a million dinars thus far to pay for water tankers, and are planning to host a small event on August 27, 2016, to join in the watering of a park. About the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani Established in 2007 as a not-for-profit institution, AUIS is dedicated to providing a comprehensive liberal arts education for the benefit of young men and women from Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and the wider region. The University seeks to produce graduates of responsible character with the necessary knowledge and skills for professional and national leadership. The academic program, taught in the English language by international faculty, is designed to develop strength in critical thinking, the ability to communicate well, a strong work ethic, good citizenship and personal integrity. The growing student body at AUIS represents the region’s diverse ethnic and religious landscape as the University continues to the be the destination of choice of more than 1,600 students. Reflecting Sulaimani’s location at an international crossroads, Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, Ezidis and Christians, live and study together in an open culture fostering diversity and tolerance. Academic freedom is a principle guaranteed in teaching, learning, and research in a manner identical to that found at regionally accredited colleges and universities in the United States. Follow AUIS on Twitter @auis_news and Facebook @auisofficial for latest information and news. For media enquiries or interview requests, please contact Bzhar Ali Boskani, media and public relations manager, at [email protected] or 964(0)770-4615-385.