The project aims at reinforcing institutional capacity of HEIs in strategical planning, as a prerequisite for them to compete in a global setting. Moreover, the project aims to enhance the relevance and quality of the higher education system through the revitalization of academic life and scientific research. In this respect, European partners could provide methodological techniques and best practices to support the development on HEIs strategical plan. Acknowledging the specifics of the local context, the European partners’ support will help the Iraqi institutions to define their own priorities.

The project is consistent with EU strategy in supporting Iraq rebuilding of public institutions through capacity building. Indeed, efforts to strengthen and support the Iraqi academic institutions, particularly the universities and research centres – once among the best in the region – are also essential for the improvement of the governance of the country.

Unfortunately, Higher Education is one of the sectors that experienced serious destruction of infrastructure since 2003. The rehabilitation of the Iraqi higher education system, already damaged by almost two decades of under-investment and isolation, is hampered by insufficient infrastructure and limited capacity in terms of planning, policy and management of higher education programmes. The gap between the educational opportunities offered by Iraqi universities and the requirements for sustainable economic development is widening.

The overarching goal of INsPIRE is to support, through the cooperation of European institutions, the rebuilding, modernisation, and internationalisation of the governance system of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Iraq with a specific focus on planning and programming systems. Due to the recent crisis and political economic situation, the current higher education system requires a strong intervention to face the weakness of the existing governance system. To institutionalize good governance practices in Iraqi HEIs, which also means enforcing institutional values such as autonomy, accountability, participation, and internationalization, as well as implementing well-structured management systems, will contribute to the development of Iraqi HIEs helping them to meet the international standards.

The aim of the project is to support HEIs in Iraq in order to make them capable of establishing a modern governance framework through the adoption of innovative practices.

More specifically, it seeks to:

  • Enhance good governance, management and accountability practices in the HEIs
  • Establish a clear governance framework, including well-defined and clear mission and goals through the definition and implementation of action plans
  • Strengthen the capacity of HEIs to develop their own specific strategies and to implement them effectively and efficiently by means of programming systems
  • Strengthen the international relations management within the HEIs
  • Improve the participation in strategic planning and development activities of non-university actors and non-state actors