Restitution and Harmonization Workshop, Local training at Kurdish HEIs and the development of a Strategic Plan by the Ministry

Restitution and Harmonisation Workshop

On February 27th and 28th, a Restitution and Harmonisation Workshop was held in Erbil, jointly organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of KRG.

The event aimed to support dialogue between the Ministry of Higher Education and the leaders of Kurdish universities, to support the implementation of the Bologna Process at Kurdish institutions coherently with the development of a national strategic plan and hanbook.

The event saw the participation of +60 attendees, including Presidents and Vice Presidents from Kurdish universities, Directors of Quality Assurance, Directors of IROs and academic staff, as well as the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

The Participant list is available HERE.

The Harmonization workshop was opened by H.E. the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Aram Mohammed Qader, by Dr. Mohammed Hussein Ahmed, Head of the Apparatus on Quality Assurance and Accreditation at the Ministry as well as by the UNIMED Director, Dr. Marcello Scalisi and the Italian Consul in Erbil, Dr. Michele Camerota. All of them highlighted the strategic role that education and higher education in particular occupies in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and how international cooperation supports the adoption of good governance practices (strategic planning, accountability, qualy culture, learning mobility, etc).

The Restitution and Harmonisation workshop main objectives were:

  1. on the one hand, to capitalise on the training experiences from the previous activities and to set the ground for preparing the local trainings that each university shall organise at their own institution.
  2. on the other hand, the event was relevant to put the basis for the dialogue and harmonisation between Ministry and HEIs to agree on a shared strategy that shall inform the institutional strategic plans of each university, taking into account the main pillars of APPRAIS.

The Agenda of the Harmonization workshop is available HERE.

On the first day, each institution presented the university strategy and the roadmap elaborated in the framework of WP2, focusing on different strategic goals such as internationalization, enhancement of the quality of education and improvement of student’s employability. The APPRAIS institutional roadmaps are available HERE and the presentation delivered in the workshop are available here below:

During the second day, participants were involved in some practical activities aimed to deal with the organisation of the local trainings that the 8 Kurdish universities planned between May and June 2023. The participants were thus guided by the project External Evaluator, Roberto Righi, and were divided in small groups and were asked to discuss and reflect about:

  • the main topics to be addressed in the local training
  • the trainees and trainers to be involved as beneficiaries of the training
  • what kind of training materials and resources to be used
  • the impact of the training at at both personal and institutional levels
  • possibile challenges and problems that might be encourtenred during the ToT implementation

The practical activity was preceeded by a short video presenting all the trainign activities performed so far, plus two presentations on behalf of the UNIMED staff:

The main outcomes of the worskhop are reported in the event report HERE.

The workshop has been another key result of the APPRAIS project in 2023 after the study visit in Rome and in Murcia organised in January. The experience allowed the Ministry of HE and Kurdish universities to implement winning strategies and represented another concrete step to establish a stronger cooperation with the EU universities. The experience was also beneficial for the Kurdish staff members to complement the skills and knowledge addressed by the APPRAIS MOOC on governance, quality assurance and Bologna Process implementation.

Local trainings at Kurdish universities

After the Harmonization workshop, the Ministry of Higher Education of KRG, WP5 leader, supported by the WP5 co-leader University of Garmian, and UNIMED, developed some specific guidelines for the Local trainings – ToT Guidelines – and dedicated templates for Partners to report the activities.

Training materials have been identified, and some materials translated in Kurdish.

To select the trainees, priority should be given among the personnel involved in developing the strategic planning, quality assurance, IROs, Bologna process implementation and academic staff of different colleges and departments. At least 20 trainees per each institution, for a total of 160 university staff members shall be involved, but the number can be increased upon needs and capacity of institutions. On the other hand, trainers should be selected among the beneficiaries of the APPRAIS previous trainings.

The content of the ToT shall be defined accordingly to the priorities of the APPRAIS project, therefore based on institutional priorities and needs, and on the shared strategy of the Ministry. The major topics tackled in APPRAIS project should be included: strategic planning, quality assurance (internal and external), Bologna process and learning mobility, program study development (learning outcomes).

The ToT should last at least 6 working days, for at least a total of 24 hours (in order to be accepted by the Ministry of HE – condition for the national ranking). It will be possible to organise different trainings in different moments between the project time allocated to this activity.