UK Minister of Universities and Science, David Willetts, lent his support for the affected institutions – over 50 UK universities were the only ones cut from a list of 25 countries globally.
In an opening speech at the UK Education Tour, he said, “British universities offer research excellence in a broad spectrum of subjects, and students can be confident of their choice to study and research in the UK”.
The KRG funds a substantial scholarship programme and has allocated US$100 million per year over the next four years for graduate-level scholarships, and additional funding for required English language training is also accommodated.
One affected institution is Huddersfield University. “Huddersfield University has been working in the Kurdish Region of Iraq for several years,” said International Officer, Andrew Mandebura. “[It] has forged partnerships with local universities in areas such as Education and Genetics. This decision does not reflect either excellence in research or ongoing collaboration between Iraq and the UK”.
The KRG has allocated US$100 million per year over the next four years for graduate-level scholarships
UK universities were in Erbil as part of the UK Education Tour (UKET), organised by David Mitchell at Levant Education Consulting.
“We organised the Erbil trip initially as a recruitment exhibition, but in the event we were lobbying local government about UK education as much as we were exhibiting”, explained Mitchell.
“There’s a new government in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, and we now hope and expect that the list of recognised UK universities will be restored to reflect the number and quality of courses on offer in the UK”.
Willetts also met with KRG officials earlier this year in London to also pledge his support for the Human Capacity Development Programme, which funds studies in 16 countries.