Students graduate in Sulaimani. Photo: AUIS
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — For the first time in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research fully accredited a private university, the American University of Iraq Sulaimani (AUIS), the institution announced.
“We thank the Ministry for its decision, which reflects the University’s devotion to excellence in learning, teaching and research,” stated AUIS President Bruce Walker Ferguson in a press release posted to its website on Thursday.
“The Iraqi Government’s support of innovation in higher education sends a strong message of hope and progress. The AUIS community will continue its efforts to meet the highest academic standards in Iraq and abroad, as we build bridges from the University, its graduates and the region to the rest of the world.”
The accreditation opens up new employment and graduate education opportunities for AUIS alumni in Iraq and other countries, according to the AUIS statement.
The press release stated the university plans to open an admissions office in Baghdad this year “to assist prospective students living outside of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.”
AUIS was founded in 2007 by a board of educators looking to create an atmosphere dedicated to liberal arts and innovation.
As of May of last year, the university had graduated 682 people with baccalaureate degrees and masters of business, according to the AUIS.
There are 18 public and 25 private universities or institutions for education and in the Kurdistan Region, according to the Ministry of Higher Education.
According to the ministry, 13,000 students registered in private universities and institutes in 2015. This figure fell to 10,000 in 2016 and 8,000 in 2017.