Recruiting and Retaining Iraqi Government Sponsored Students Presenters: - Dr. Ammar A. Alsahrawi, Deputy Cultural Attaché, Iraqi Cultural Office - Washington DC - Mr. Karwan Zebari, Director of Congressional & Academic Affairs, Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq Representation to the U.S. Agenda • Overview. • Sponsored Scholarship Programs: - Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR). - HCDP Scholarship program. - HCED Scholarship Program. • Recruiting Sponsored Students. • Questions. Overview • Goal: Rebuilding higher education system • 2 ministries of higher education (Baghdad and Erbil) • 3 scholarship programs (2 national programs; 1 regional program); Competitive • Conditional Admission; Graduate studies, STEM focus; ESL funding. • Short-term research opportunities and institutional collaboration Challenges for Students • • • • English language skills. Unfamiliar with U.S. higher education system. Access to resources and standardized tests. Lack of Credit Cards, electricity, and reliable Internet; Broken postal system. • Visa application process and timing. Scholarship Program Challenges • • • • • • • Poor access to Education. Weakness in teaching and managing staff. Teaching and learning methods are old, poor. No matching of the curriculum with the market needs. Limited funding. An outdated curriculum. Non collaboration between the national priorities and education strategies. • Lack of understanding of U.S. higher education system. • Highly centralized and bureaucratic system. Goals • To improve the intake of different sciences on the best international basis. • To benchmark the candidates according to international levels. • To encourage community to improve their skills. • Offer better academic staff for the Iraqi universities for academic progress continuity. • To bridge the gap of the past scientific isolation. Government of Iraq - Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Scholarship Program. • Started in 2007 to send graduate students to U.S. universities for STEM studies. • 2012 - new program announced to award 10,000 scholarships within 5 years for master’s and doctorate degrees. • More than 90% of students require Conditional Admission for ESL and GRE. Current Enrollment of GOI MoHESR Scholarship Students • Total enrollment: 282 • PhD students: 267 • Masters students: 15 • 138 student studying English (1st year). • 144 student studying their academic program. Current Iraqi Scholarship Student Enrollment Missouri University Missouri S&T University of Cincinnati UMKC UMSL Oklahoma State Mississippi State South Carolina University University of Central Florida University of Arkansas Fayetteville University of Arkansas – Little Rock Applicant Should: • • • • • Be of Iraqi nationality. Not be convicted of any non-political or ethical felony. Not be more than 40 years old for MSc; 45 years for PhD. Compete with other applicants from the same province. Sign a contract with his/her sponsor, pledging a bond (collateral) and a guarantor. • Not have applied or obtained immigrant or refugee status (student and accompanying family); or be nominated or enrolled in higher education studies inside or outside Iraq; or be accepted, expelled, or failed in higher education studies inside or outside Iraq. Program Benefits • PhD - 4 years with possible extension to extra (5th) year • Masters - 2 years with possible extension for 6 months. • 12 months of English language program; maximum course fees of $14,000 • Monthly Stipend • Comprehensive health insurance for the student, spouse and up to 2 children • Academic tuition fees • Research Thesis writing and binding fees • Round Trip travel expenses • Conference attendance Drop Box • Iraqi Cultural Office operates a Drop Box Data Base that includes primary details, scientific background data, transcripts, recommendation letters, & contact information for registered students. • Updated and synchronized with new registrations; over 100 student currently are ready to start the application processing. • Contact ICO to request access to Data Base. • U.S. universities access Data Base, identify possible recruits, and contact students directly. Admission letter Letter Must Include: • Clearly state conditional admission to the English Language program & the Graduate Academic Program. • Conditional requirements student must fulfill – TOEFL test score, GRE test, etc. • Student’s major and sub-speciality. • English Language program – start date (dd,mm,yyyy) and estimated end date. • Academic program – proposed start date and end date. • Estimated duration of academic program. • Estimated cost of English Language program and academic program (with possible % of increase). Program Rules • No overlap between the English language and academic programs. • Up to a month allowed between the end date of the English language program and the start date of the academic program. • Prefer J1, but can accept F1 visas. Funding for Research Research Scholarships Program: Growing program for graduate students at Iraqi Universities to do research abroad that cannot be done in Iraq. PhD students eligible for 6 to 12 months of funding; 3 to 4 months master`s students. Iraqi academic advisor funded for 1-month visit. Post-Doctoral Research program for the Iraqi Faculty: Up to 12 months of funding for university faculty to do research in high priority fields of study; participants required to publish research project for academic review in Iraq. Recruitment & Retention • Iraqi students lack capability to approach international universities because of their long scientific isolation. • Work with the Iraqi Cultural Office and the Drop Box data base. • Wave the application fee (outdated banking system). • Paper application (poor internet coverage). • Offer visa to cover both English language and academic programs. • Cultural and social orientation on arrival to U.S.A. • Socially and scientifically engage spouse/dependents in some activities as volunteers or community grouping for better cultural knowledge and accommodation. Contact Us Iraqi Cultural Office, Washington DC Dr. Ammar Alsahrawi – Deputy Cultural attaché. E-mail: [email protected] Tel: (202) 986-2626, Fax: (202) 986-2291. www.iraqiculture-usa.com The Iraqi Cultural Office works with EducationUSA Iraq and the Education Specialist for Iraq at the U.S. Department of State. HCED Program Benefits • • • • • • Monthly stipend Health insurance for student & family. Tuition, fees, books, etc. Travel expenses. 12 months fees for English Language program. HCED finds employment for students upon return to Iraq. Recruiting Sponsored Students • Offer Conditional Admission • Complete Online Survey www.surveymonkey.com/EducationUSAIraq • EducationUSA Advising Centers in Baghdad and Erbil • Attend EducationUSA University Fairs in Iraq - September 28-30, 2013 in Baghdad - April 2014 in Erbil • U.S. – Iraq Higher Education Conference in Washington DC. • Engage with Lorna, ICO, and KRG Office in DC. • Easy, straight format of application (U Missouri - Columbia, U Cincinnati). Questions?