The future of Kurdish Higher Education Institutions: strategic planning, quality assurance, and the university social role for sustainable development

The APPRAIS Partners met in Duhok on 20-21 June 2023 to advance in the project implementation. The Fourth Partnership Meeting hosted by the University of Duhok was crucial to set the basis for the sustainability of APPRAIS beyond its lifetime. Many results have been achieved by the partnership and Kurdish universities have been always very active and well engaged in the activities, in particular in taking part and later expanding the capacity building. As well, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in KRG is supporting institutions in the process of implementing better governance systems, internationalization measures, and in adapting and adopting the Bologna Process principles and practices.

In details, the meeting was hold to:

  • Assess the project progress, workload, resources, effectiveness of the management and internal communication, to reflect on what works and what needs improvement 
  • Plan and detail the activities for the next and last 7 months
  • Share challenges, obstacles, criticalities and also positive achievements
  • Monitor indicators of the project, deliverables and milestones
  • Set the basis for the sustainability of the project beyond the period of its implementation

On June 22nd, the APPRAIS Partners held a Dissemination Conference hosted by Duhok Polytechnic University. There were various staff members from Kurdish universities and stakeholders from the region, together with institutional representatives from the university governance and from the Ministry, taking part in the Conference.

The Dissemination Conference had a twofold objective: 1) to present and share how the APPRAIS results can be beneficial for the Kurdish higher education system; 2) to share ideas and good practices on the social role of the university, and on how the third mission of universities shall be systematized and made impactful. The full Agenda of the Conference is available here

A wide range of speakers were involved in two main roundtables:

  • The APPRAIS project at the service of the Kurdish higher education system: what has been achieved and steps forwards. 
  • The social role of the University and its internationalization towards social and economic sustainable development of the KRG region.

On the floor, representatives of both European and Kurdish institutions as well as the Ministry and a representative from a local NGO. Also, non-partner universities intervened in the conversation, bringing new inputs to the dialogue around the future of Kurdish HEIs.

Universities shall be open spaces, becoming socially inclusive and physically without walls, meaning open also to non-students. Through effective partnerships, universities can and should contribute to peace and conflict resolution, and be agents of sustainable development. Moreover, it has been recognized the gap between what is done in Higher Education and what is happening in the labor market: projects and initiatives should involve local stakeholders and have a mutual dialogue with the socio-economic actors to work in synergy. Localization is the new horizon: working with and for the local communities. 

The project APPRAIS is moving towards the end, but several opportunities are open for Kurdish institutions: training for the staff, to equip institutions to raise in the local and global scenario; strategic plans designed to push universities towards a greater institutional capacity; measures to improve performance and quality assurance in teaching, research, third mission and students’ services; a solid international experience to leverage for new collaborations over the short and long run. 

Kurdish universities have a bright future ahead, follow us at .