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This week, the Institute of International Education's Scholar Rescue Fund will hold a conference in Amman, Jordan on "The Reconstruction of Higher Education in Post-Conflict Iraq," in collaboration with the Post-war Reconstruction Development Unit (PRDU) of the University of York. An estimated 170 Iraqi scholars, Iraqi public university presidents, ministers of higher education, international experts and key regional strategic partners will take part in this important academic event, as will HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, HRH Prince Talal bin Muhammad and HRH Princess Ghida Talal of Jordan.
The three-day event will provide a forum for strategic dialog on rebuilding Iraqi higher education and for scholarly discussion of original research papers authored by Iraqi scholars. These include topics such as "Application of Quality Assurance for Higher Education in Iraq," "Restoration of Order to Universities: A Key Factor for the Reconstruction of Higher Education in Iraq," and "Iraqi Higher Education Improvement Using Learning Management Systems," and "A Leading Role for Universities on Gender."
Proceedings will open with remarks by IIE Vice Chairman and SRF Chairman Dr. Henry Jarecki. HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal will provide the conference's keynote address. IIE President & CEO Allan E. Goodman will present on "Re-building the House of Wisdom" in Iraq. Professor Sultan Barakat, the founding Director of PRDU, will serve as the conference facilitator. He will also discuss the specific manner in which higher education has and has not been factored into the international community's thinking on post-conflict recovery. HRH Prince Talal bin Muhammad will provide the closing remarks for the conference.
According the HRH Princess Ghida, member of the Advisory Board of IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund, "The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is proud to host this ground-breaking conference. Just as Jordan prides itself in providing a safe haven where threatened Iraqi scholars can continue their work in freedom and safety, so do the scholars enrich our academic and scientific progress."
According to Dr. Jarecki, "This conference is a gathering of historic proportion. We must be ready to make history and to get results, to leverage the investment that many have made in protecting and developing Iraqi scholarship through some of its darkest days to turn now to the larger purpose of all of this work: the reconstruction of higher education in Iraq."
This conference is funded, in part, through the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Office of Iraq Economic and Assistance Affairs and Office of Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) under Cooperative Agreement number S-NEAIR-07-CA-105. The opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the Authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of State.
The Iraq Scholar Rescue Project was launched in August 2007. SRF incepted this project with the goal to rescue Iraq's most senior academics from any academic discipline by placing them at institutions of higher learning mainly in countries within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. To date, the IIE Iraq Scholar Rescue Project has granted fellowship assistance to 213 established Iraqi academics who have faced threats to their lives and careers since the war in Iraq began in 2003. In addition to carrying out their fellowships at host institutions, Iraq Project scholar-grantees are invited to attend training workshops and conferences organized by IIE/SRF in an effort to fuel their professional development and prepare them, as academics, to contribute to the rebuilding of Iraq.
Outcomes of the conference will be posted on the IIE website shortly. For more information about IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund, please visit: www.iie.org/srf.