A first for Kurdistan students

First for Kurdistan
19 Sep 2013 12:16:28.160

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The University of Nottingham has hosted the first event of its kind in the UK for research students from Kurdistan.

The University’s Kurdistan Society held the scientific conference for the Kurdish region’s postgraduate students, which brought together over 100 researchers from 17 universities across the UK, travelling from Edinburgh in the north to Plymouth in the south.

The conference was designed to create a unique opportunity for postgraduate students to meet, exchange ideas, share experiences and as a forum to discuss queries. The majority of delegates were Kurdistan Regional Government-sponsored Human Capacity Development Programme (HCDP) students. The government has invested in raising the region’s standards in the fields of science, technology and management through scholarships for further study in the UK.

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The sessions covered a range of research topics key to both Kurdistan and other parts of the world including policy, agriculture, medicine, law, security, infrastructure and green technologies. After finishing their research degrees, the students plan to return to their region to rebuild capacity in their chosen fields, following the toppling of the Iraqi regime 10 years ago.

The University of Nottingham has a long-standing association with the region and has a significant number of students sponsored by the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The University’s Dlawer Ala’Aldeen, Professor of Clinical Microbiology, has been crucial to the success of Nottingham’s association with the region. Professor Ala’Aldeen himself served as Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research for the Kurdistan Regional Government from 2009-2012, and was key to organising the conference. 

Professor Ala’Aldeen said: “I'm delighted that our inaugural conference has attracted so much interest from Kurdish students based across the UK, and the feedback from delegates has been excellent.

“The level of talent and research showcased at the event demonstrates the commitment of the students, academics and KRG to revitalising scientific research, promoting innovation and strengthening the infrastructure in the region. As a university, we are proud to play our part in supporting these aims.”

Guests from the Ministry of Higher Education and London representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Government attended and hosted an interactive session with the delegates. 


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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits


Emma Lowry - Media Relations Manager

Email: emma.lowry@nottingham.ac.uk  Phone: +44 (0)115 846 7156  Location: University Park

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