The TIGRIS Project has been awarded for EU co-funding within the framework of the Erasmus+ program “Capacity Building in the Field of Higher Education”. Capacity-building projects in the field of higher education support the modernization, accessibility, and internationalization of higher education in Partner Countries, in this case Kurdistan.
The TIGRIS Project, which will run for 3 years from 2017 – 2020, is coordinated by the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany. The project consortium is composed of 5 European partners and 10 Kurdish partners, including the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR), as well as 2 associate partners.
Higher education plays a crucial role in economic and social development and as a catalyst for sustainable development by producing high quality human resources and disseminating the results of scientific and technical research. Through mobility, institutional cooperation is amplified since the HEIs involved in building partnerships and networks can cast a critical eye on the global challenges affecting them. International cooperation in the field of Higher Education also ensures that knowledge grows through sharing, and that capacity and excellence are built on both sides.
In light of this, the following objectives have been determined for the TIGRIS Project, which the partners will seek to address throughout the project’s lifespan and within the activities undertaken:
- Improve the quality of Higher Education in Kurdistan;
- Develop new and innovative education programs;
- Modernize the Higher Education system in Kurdistan through policy reform;
- Create and implement national legislation which will facilitate the accreditation of joint and double degrees, the recognition of studies abroad, and the ECTS;
- Foster cooperation across different regions of the world via joint initiatives and collaborative action;
- Strengthen management structures and services geared towards international relations;
- Develop advanced strategic policies regarding the internationalization of education, collaborative research, academic mobility, and international student services within Kurdistan which will bring Kurdish HEIs closer to their European counterparts;
- Transfer best practices and disseminate knowledge so as to understand how to cooperate within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and European Research Area (ERA).
The project is envisaged to operate at three distinct levels. Firstly, at government and ministry level, policies will be created and developed which underpin the process of internationalising the Higher Education system and research within Kurdistan, and likewise will simultaneously facilitate the recognition of studies conducted in Europe as well as the elaboration of joint diplomas and joint research activities. Secondly, at institutional level, internal bylaws will be generated and institutional policies will be developed aimed at internationalising education, research, staff and student mobility, and student services. Thirdly, at departmental level, the project will seek to reinforce the capacity of International Relations departments, both in terms of their infrastructure and human resources.
The project’s main target groups are students, researchers, academics, and administrative staff who currently participate, or wish to participate, in international collaborations. Training programs will be organized for International Relations managers and administrative staff in Europe and Kurdistan in order to provide the opportunity to exchange knowledge and share best-practices first-hand and to learn more about the European educational system directly and see how some European International Relations Offices and internationalization strategies function, for example. Participation in summer schools is also foreseen for members of the participating HEIs. Additionally, the project proposes to establish a European-Kurdish network to enhance the development of joint initiatives and raise awareness on internationalization issues through a dedicated journal.
Structured and targeted activities will be organized to modernise or develop, individual strategies on internationalization and academic mobility, along with coherent institutional measures capable of steering internationalization at the participating Kurdish HEIs. The TIGRIS Project will hereby underpin institutional efforts to improve the Kurdish partners’ rankings within the Higher Education system. Moreover, the reinforced capacities and skills of International Relations personnel at the Kurdish HEIs resulting from the mentoring offered by the European partners and the knowledge gained on developing international relations policies, divisions, and services will boost their participation in international projects and strengthen the competitiveness of Kurdish HEIs.
The TIGRIS Project is anticipated to exert the following short-term and long-term academic and social impacts:
- Increased interest and recognition of the importance of internationalization in student and staff development;
- The creation of a framework for the recognition of studies conducted abroad;
- The establishment of joint ventures/programs (both national and international);
- The creation of a group of experts tasked with disseminating knowledge about the EHEA system and transferring knowledge to other HEIs and the wider academic community;
- The internationalization of the HE system in Kurdistan;
- The development of a benchmarking tool for mapping the quality of internationalization in Kurdish HEIs;
- Lifelong learning skills for senior managers and International Relations Officers;
- The integration of internationalization strategies within HEIs;
- Increased quality of education in Kurdistan;
- Increased cooperation between Kurdistan and the EHEA;
- Increased awareness of the internationalization of Kurdistan in the EHEA and other countries worldwide.
EU Project Partners
- Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany (Coordinator)
- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
- Masarykova Univerzita, Czech Republic
- Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Netherlands
- Global Impact Institute Prague, Czech Republic
Kurdish Project Partners
- Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Kurdistan
- Kurdistan Institution of Strategic Studies and Scientific Research (KISSR), Kurdistan
- University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan
- Sulaimani Polytechnic University, Kurdistan
- University of Raparin, Kurdistan
- Halabja University, Kurdistan
- Charmo University, Kurdistan
- Duhok Polytechnic University, Kurdistan
- Erbil Polytechnic University, Kurdistan
- Salahaddin University – Erbil, Kurdistan
Associate Project Partners
- COIMBRA Group, Belgium
- Grupo Compostela de Universidades, Spain
Detailed List of Project Partners
TIGRIS Project Newsletters
For recent events and activities of the TIGRIS Project, here you can find the TIGRIS Project newsletters available for downloads, which are produced by Kurdistan Institution of Strategic Studies and Scientific Research (KISSR).
Project Useful Links and References