Monday, August 26, 2013

University of New Orleans Welcomes Iraqi Delegation

Representatives of the U.S. Department of State and higher education leaders from the nation of Iraq visit the University of New Orleans today in an effort to forge connections and opportunities for learning.

The visiting delegation includes presidents, deans, associate deans, directors and lecturers from leading Iraqi universities, including University of Wasit, University of Baghdad, University of Garmiyan, University of Al-Qadisiya, Mustansiriyah University, University of Maysan, University of Samarra, Babylon University and University of Dhi Qar, as well as the Center of Arab Scientific Heritage Revival.

The visitors are touring leading higher education institutions throughout the United States under the auspices of the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program. Their program is arranged by Meridian International Center.

During their day at UNO, the Iraqi visitors will meet with faculty and staff from a variety of University departments and cultural programs. They will also receive a presentation on the University's new and expanding online learning programs and Global UNO.

As Iraq stabilizes and advances its post-war development efforts, leaders aim to reintegrate the nation's higher education system into the global academic community, organizers said. Over the next several years, the Iraqi government will award fellowships to thousands of citizens, helping them to pursue graduate studies abroad.

The Iraqi national government will also work to expand student exchange opportunities and strengthen ties to foreign higher education institutions, including colleges and universities in the United States, according to U.S. State Department officials.

The State Department's stated goals for the project are to:

  • orient participants to the U.S. higher education system;
  • acquaint participants with administrative organization and academic programs of U.S. colleges and universities;
  • connect participants with U.S. higher education faculty and administrators in an effort to help them explore potential opportunities for research collaboration and student and faculty exchanges;
  • demonstrate uses of information technology in U.S. higher education;
  • explore educational programming in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and explore areas for potential technical assistance.