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University Linkage Program (ULP)

Project type

University Linkage Program


October 2010 to October 2013




Capacity building in higher education


Capacity building, curriculum development, Career students services

The University Linkage Program (ULP/IREX) was a three years USA academic project linked Iraqi Universities with US universities.
The US-Iraqi Universities Linkage programme was launched in June 2010.This programme was organized and financially sponsored by US Embassy-Baghdad and implemented by Academy for Educational Developments (AED). The aim was to linking five Iraqi universities with five US universities.
The Iraq University Linkage program(ULP) worked on promoting higher education reform in Iraq through working with Iraqi faculty and administrators to strengthen university curricula, enhance and update teaching methods and technology, and improve career services for students.
Through the ULP, Iraqi universities engage with global community and catalyze social, political, and economic development in Iraq. Through capacity building activities, Iraqi faculty will be better equipped to conduct ongoing curriculum review and improvement to model internationally recognized accreditation standards.
The University Linkages Program (ULP) fostered long-term partnerships between U.S. and Iraqi universities. These partnerships:
-Offered opportunities for scholarly collaboration;
-Curricular and pedagogical reform;
-Faculty, staff, and student exchanges;
-Online courses; team-taught courses;
-Video conferencing; and person-to-person interactions, including U.S.
-Study tours for Iraqi faculty and administrators.
Key accomplishments of the partnerships included departmental collaboration to develop new courses, pedagogical training that emphasizes student-centered teaching skills, development of career centers to address school-to-work transition, and professional development exchange programs. Participating partner universities were:
-The University of Basra with Oklahoma State University;
-The University of Kufa in Najaf with the University of Kentucky;
-Salahaddin University - Erbil with the University of Cincinnati; and
-The University of Tikrit with Ball State University.
These linkages focus on fields such as petroleum sciences, English education, engineering, computer sciences and business.
The University of Cincinnati (UC) was one of only a handful of American universities to be selected for an international partnership to rebuild Iraq’s educational system and its economy. UC President Gregory H. Williams and Salahaddin University-Erbil President Ahmed Anwar Dezaye celebrated the partnership in a formal November 4th,2010 partnership-agreement-signing ceremony at the UC Teachers College.
UC is among only five U.S. institutions selected for the university linkages program, an initiative sponsored by the Academy for Educational Development – a nonprofit organization that works to improve education around the world – and the American Embassy in Baghdad. The partnerships are funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of State.
Representatives of Salahaddin University-Erbil in Kurdistan Region visited university of Cincinnati - Ohio-USA in the period Nov02-N0v07, 2010 after faculty and administrators representing UC’s College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) and College of Business werevisited Salahaddin University-Erbil in June 2010.
The UC- Salahaddin University- three-year partnership aimed to accomplish the following goals:
• Increase fluency in English
• Strengthen the expertise of Iraqi faculty
• Strengthen Iraqi faculty skills in teaching
• Increase Iraqi faculty research talent
• Strengthen online learning and teaching skills
• Build international exchange opportunities.
• Establish Erbil community career center.
I would like to record here my deepest appreciation to Prof. Dr. Holly Johnson and Prof .Dr. Gulbahar Beckett for their great support and cooperation during the lifetime of the project and beyond.
With the compliments of:
Dr. Mohammed Azeez Saeed,
Salahaddin University-Erbil,
Kurdistan Region-Iraq.

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