The KRG universities are crossing the borders of Kurdistan Region to further engage with the process of internationalization in higher education. In line with the new strategy in the Kurdistan Region, on 3/6/2015, a delegation from Koya University started their 6-day trip on an official visit to the University of Arkansas
in the USA.
The delegation included the President of Koya University, Dr. Wali Mahmud Hemad, Dr. Dilan majid Rostam, the Vice President for Scientific and postgraduate Affairs and Dr. Shwan Kemal Rachid, the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health.
The University of Arkansas is located in the State of Arkansas with a time difference of -8 hours with the Kurdistan Region. The University consists of 11 different campuses spread throughout the main centres of the State of Arkansas. Each campus has its own administrations such as Chancellors and Pro-vice Chancellors but all campuses have one President to represent them. The University of Arkansas is a State owned university and it is funded by the State of Arkansas. The Koya University delegation visited the main campus in Fayetteville. The Fayetteville Campus spreads throughout the city and has about 26000 students in its different colleges and departments. The University of Arkansas owns a special global status in different fields and in research. The University of Arkansas and Koya University share some common features in terms of their location in a small city and having similar departments such as clinical psychology, medical microbiology, physics, chemical and geotechnical engineering, etc.
The visit came after 14 months of communications and preparations between Koya University and the University of Arkansas. Following a visit by Dr. Adnan Al-Rubaye, the representative of University of Arkansas to Koya University in April 2014, and getting acquainted with koya University, he, via Dr. Dilan, the Vice President for Scientific Affairs of Koya university, included in his programme the arrangement of a visit for a Koya University delegation to the University of Arkansas. On 4th June, 2015 the delegation from Koya University arrived at Fayetteville city and was warmly received by professor Douglas Rhoads
, the Program Director of Cell and Molecular Biology and the Associate Programme Director, Dr. Adnan Al-Rubaye. In this meeting, the program of the visit was discussed and a working schedule was set for the days of the visit.
The program agenda of the Koya University delegation centered on getting acquainted with the education process in the various departments, research and laboratories of the University and signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UoA. During the 6 days visit the delegation of Koya University held close meetings with eight departments and got acquainted with their academic life. In a statement to the Koya University Newsletter Dr. Wali Mahmud, stated, “The delegation of Koya University was received by the leadership team of the University of Arkansas and during a main gathering, Dr Dilan held a presentation on Koya University and I addressed the meeting with a speech (please click to read the speech
), Then a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the presidents of the two universities.” “It is important to mention that the meeting was also attended by, Prof. Dr. Tahani Alsandook, the acting Cultural Attaché in the Iraqi Cultural Office who had come from the capital of the United States to attend the ceremony," said Dr. Wali. "On the last day of our visit, a special and academic MoU was signed between Koya University and Spring International Language Center (SILC)," Dr. Wali further added. He also referred to and appreciated the efforts of the members of the Koya University delegation and added, "Through our good cooperation our delegation were able to successfully conclude our visit and establish a good relationship with University of Arkansas."
Meanwhile, Dr Dilan the Vice President for Scientific and postgraduate Affairs
of Koya University, pointed out the UoA experience in an all inclusive strategy and Autonomy of decision across the university. He emphasised "Knowledge and understanding of UoA strategy was a common sense of belonging among everyone. In all level we could sense good level of appreciation for UoA main missions and visions. This is empowering through inclusive policy on major goals which has become UoA symbol of presence. We have pursued the same goal at Koya University and have shorten the path of communication between students, teachers and the leadership through an appropriate electronic system which is unique to our university, and we appreciate the constructive opinions of everyone in our academic community.”
During the visit days, many important meetings and interviews were held. On the last day, a meeting was held with the Council of the College of Engineering, in the presence of the dean of the college and the heads of the departments. Regarding research, Dr. Shwan
, the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health at Koya University
stated, “Conducting research has been the main task of the lecturers of University of Arkansas. They spend almost all their time carrying out research. Hence, the discussions regarding the arrangement for conducting joint research and for visiting their researchers was highly appreciated by us.”
Giving further information, Dr. Wali Mahmud said, “This agreement and relationship include many details concerning academic relations, research, Koya University Scientific Journal (ARO
), higher education and English Language.”
Thanks to the hard work and efforts of Professor Douglas Rhoads
, Dr. Adnan Al-Rubaye and Ms. Gloria Passmore, the Associate Director of Recruitment and Sponsored Student Programs at the University of Arkansas, the 6 days visit was successfully concluded on 9th June.
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