Palacký University in Olomouc opens course in Iraqi Kurdistan
Palacký University in Olomouc has recently opened a new course in Petroleum Engineering in Erbil, the capitol of Iraqi Kurdistan. Erbil is one of the oldest cities in the world and is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Recently, the city has become the seat of an educational project in which Palacký University plays a major role.
In the auspices of university’s life-long learning programme in Erbil, the school has opened a course in Petroleum Engineering. “We received a training license from the Kurdistan regional government and officially launched our activities in Erbil last week. However, everything is still in its infancy,” commented Jaroslav Miller, the rector of Palacký University. The program now includes courses like geology, chemistry, math and geoinformatics.
“Initially, the course will be taught to primarily Kurdish students. If successful, the university wishes to expand the project to students from the wider region and therefore become a ‘Czech educational centre’ in the Middle East,” explained Kudláček. The university plans to gradually expand its activities in Erbil and hopes to extend its activities by up to six regular Bachelor’s degree courses in the future. Other universities are also considering joining the project. However, everything will depend on the results of the ongoing accreditation procedure.
“We were approached by investors from Erbil who would like to establish an international campus. They have a vision to create a campus that they call Czech Academic City and they would like to bring Czech universities to join and offer European-quality university degree programmes in Erbil,” said Martin Kudláček, Palacký University’s Vice-Rector for International Relations.
According to the Palacký University’s Rector Jaroslav Miller, the ethos of development aid plays the most important role in this project. “Iraqi Kurdistan is by far the most dynamic part of the country, it has high autonomy and needs teachers, doctors, engineers, and an educated elite in general. We are honoured to be their mentors and partners in this respect,” he explained.
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