Strengthening our collaboration with Iraq

University representatives visit Iraq

Representatives of our University recently spent a week in Baghdad and Kerbala with Ministers of State, Sheffield Alumni, Iraqi universities and postgraduate medical training organisations.

For security reasons, few UK universities have been able to include Baghdad in their itinerary of visits, but the situation is changing and we are now able to redevelop academic collaborations between Iraq and the UK.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Koen Lamberts signed an agreement, which was welcomed and approved by His Excellency, Professor Qusay Al-Suhail, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The agreement describes how we wish to collaborate with universities in Iraq.

Professor Lamberts wrote: “It is a great privilege for the University of Sheffield to be collaborating with Iraq in higher education and research. Our work is of vital importance and we greatly look forward to deepening and strengthening our collaboration.”

The Sheffield delegation consisted of Emeritus Professor Nigel Bax, Honorary Emerita Professor Deborah Bax and Mr Chris Cagney from Global Engagement.

As well as meeting with His Excellency Professor Qusay Al-Suhail, the group met His Excellency Professor Ala Alwan, Minister of Health, the Health and Environment Committee of the Iraqi Parliament and representatives from the University of Technology and the Universities of Baghdad, Basrah, Kerbala and Al-Mustansiriyah and in addition the Iraqi and Arab Boards of Health Specializations. Discussions focussed on how we may develop partnerships with Iraqi universities and researchers.

Iraq visit

Iraq visit

Professors Nigel and Deborah Bax have worked in Iraq for almost 10 years with over half of Iraq’s medical colleges as well as with both the Iraqi and Arab Boards of Medical Specialisations in the fields of medical education and training. On this visit the group was accompanied by Professor Derek Bell OBE, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

Our Iraqi alumni network numbers over 400, employed in senior roles in education, government, health and engineering throughout the nation. We were able to invite a number of our key alumni and University of Sheffield Honorary Associates for an Alumni Dinner to strengthen our relationships with this important community in Iraq and where Dr. Amjad Al-Sawad, Director General of the Directorate of Scholarship and Cultural Relations signed the agreement at a formal ceremony.

This visit follows recognition of our international standing by Times Higher Education earlier this year when we were named as one of the world’s top 50 most international universities.