Iraqi research supported by University of Nottingham in UK and Malaysia

29 Jul 2010 10:49:14.857

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The University of Nottingham is set to work with Iraqi academics in Iraq, Malaysia and the UK to develop and modernise approaches to research and doctoral supervision in their home country — particularly in Kurdistan.

The project ‘Developing capacity for doctoral research supervision and training amongst universities in the Iraqi Kurdistan region’ aims to provide opportunities for Iraqi academics — particularly women — to network with and shadow academic researchers on the University’s Malaysia and UK campuses.

The project has received £90,000 funding from the DelPHE-Iraq programme, a British Council initiative supporting partnerships between higher education institutions in Iraq and those in other countries.
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The University of Nottingham has been working with a number of public universities, particularly in the Kurdish region of Iraq, since 2006. These relationships enhanced research expertise and developed research capacity. The new project will further these relationships, providing opportunities for a consortium of seven Kurdish universities, led by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Iraq.

The programme includes collaborative workshops and professional development in Iraq; professional development programmes for Iraqi doctoral supervisors at The University of Nottingham’s Malaysia campus in April 2011; support networks using video-conferencing and e-learning technologies; and a two-week research leadership and management delegation visit to The University of Nottingham in the UK in November 2011. There is a target of 40 per cent participation by female academics.

Dr Jane Wellens, Head of Researcher Development in The University of Nottingham Graduate School, is leading the project in the UK. She said: “This project is important in the Iraqi context. It supports the great interest present in Iraqi institutions in undertaking joint research with overseas institutions.

“This is likely to be achieved in the immediate future through joint PhD programmes and co-supervision. However, only 28 per cent of Iraqi academics hold a doctorate, and many will be unfamiliar with supervision. By developing academics’ skills and understanding, this project will increase their familiarity with international research processes, allowing them to collaborate and engage with overseas universities.”

The project will also support academics and institutions in delivering locally-led programmes, cascading the training through Kurdish partner universities, allowing them to increase their independence and develop internal capacity.

“This grant comes at an excellent time,” said Professor Dlawer Ala’Aldeen the Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research. “The project fits in with our efforts to reform the system of higher education and scientific research in Kurdistan.”

The University of Nottingham is home to the largest number of Iraqi PhD students in the UK.

— Ends —

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university“, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Jane Wellens on +44 (0)115 846 7944,
Tara De Cozar

Tara De Cozar - Internal Communications Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8560 Location: University Park

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