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Iraq’s first int’l campus to open next year

Iraq’s first international campus is set to open to students next year in the country’s Kurdistan region.

Masrour Barzani, the Kurdistan Regional Government prime minister, laid the foundation stone for the new campus. Photo: UoL.

The institution will offer University of London degree programs

Construction has begun on the new British International University in Erbil. The institution will offer University of London degree programs when it opens in September 2023. Students will be able to enrol in courses including Business, Management and Computer Science, with additional subjects on offer from 2024. 

A breaking ground ceremony for the new campus took place on December 8, attended by the Kurdistan regional government and UK officials.

Speaking at the ceremony, Masrour Barzani, the Kurdistan regional government prime minister, said, “I hope the teaching of University of London degrees in Kurdistan, which is a renowned international university, can serve the education and scientific sector in the Kurdistan Region.”

The 150,000 sq ft campus will include student accommodation to cater for students from Iraq and the wider region. Up to 8,000 students will be able to attend the university in its first six years. 

The University of London, which is a federation of 17 institutions including LSE and UCL, currently provides distance and blended learning in 190 countries. 

“Such collaboration epitomises the relationship between the UK and the Kurdistan Region”

Vice-chancellor Wendy Thomson said, “The University of London is renowned for providing distance education to more than 40,000 students around the world, and we look forward to extending our offer of world-class degree programs to students in Kurdistan, Iraq and the wider region.” 

The new university is owned by Erbil-based investors and GEMS holding company.

David Hunt, outgoing UK consul general to Erbil, said, “We, as the UK are keen to increase ties and develop our relationship with the KRI further in the education sector. Such collaboration epitomises the relationship between the UK and the Kurdistan Region.”

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