As the final step of the Capacity Building action for the benefit of Iraqi universities, some study visits have been arranged. In November 2022, the Iraqi colleagues travelled to Italy and Portugal. On January 2023, the Istanbul Aydin University organized a virtual visit, since it was impossible (due to political reasons) for Iraqis to officially travel to Turkey.

In November 2022, 30 academic staff members from Iraqi universities and 4 respresentatives from the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Resaearch participated in a circular field visit at two of the EU university partners in the framework of the INsPIRE project, the University of Siena and the University of Evora. The visits took place on November 14-15, 2022, in Siena, and on November 17-18 in Evora.

The Iraqi colleagues were university Rectors, vice-Rectors, Quality Assurance Directors and academics from different fields. The field visits were organized as an occasion for further training, so as to have the opportunity to compare their ways of implementing procedures and mechanisms in key areas such as the implementation of quality standard, the management of the internationalisation units, the management of research activities, the gender equality policies, academic services and more. The field visits saw the participation of a large number of trainers on behalf of the hosting universities, with the purpose of sharing experiences and go in depth into the institutional mechanism, to fully understand how to implement in practice university procedures and strategic decisions.

Finally, since it was not possible for the Iraqi colleagues to travel to Turkey, the Istabul Aydin University offered the possibility to conduct a virtual visit to their offices. An online event was organized on January 9th, 2023. The meeting was very well-conducted and informative. The programme saw the participation of 7 out of the 11 Iraqi Partners (University of Baghdad, University of Basrah, Al-Furat Al-Awsat Technical University, Al-Qasim Green University, University of Basrah Oil and Gas, Southern Technical University, Wasit University), and 4 trainers: Prof. Celal Nazim Irem, Dean of Economics and Aministrative Science Faculty, Prof. Mehmet Hakan Keskin, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ayse Deniz Ozkan, Vice-Director of International Academic Relations, Assist.Prof. Meric Kilinc, Quality Expert.

The meeting allowed the Iraqi colleagues to learn how different offices work at the Istanbul Aydin University, and compare practices and mechanisms between the Iraqi system, the Turskish one, the system in Italy and in Portugal. Moreover, they had the chance to reflect about autonomy, management, strategic planning and quality assurance. The meeting completed the training path of Iraqi universities, taking benefit from the experiences of the European partners.


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