Troy University will play a role in the revitalization of Iraq higher education by accepting students from there as part of an initiative that will send 10,000 Iraqi students abroad each year, according to Dr. Earl Ingram, vice chancellor of Global Campus.
Dr. Ingram, administrator of all Troy University teaching sites outside of Alabama, traveled to Iraq this month to meet with potential students in Baghdad and Sulaymaniya. Twenty-four U.S. universities will participate in the first stages of the Iraqi Education Initiative, according to Ingram.
The initiative is the work of Dr. Zuhair Humadi, an Iraqi citizen living in Virginia, supported by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki. It will provide full scholarships and expense stipends for up to 10,000 students annually over the next five years, Ingram said.
Ingram said Troy University, which enrolls more than 700 students from other nations on its Troy Campus, is a good fit for the program.
“Our strong background in international education makes us a natural to reach out and play a role in the reconstruction of Iraq,” Ingram said. “This is an exciting opportunity for Troy University to make a difference in the rebuilding of a nation.”
Ingram explained that a consulting firm will process the students’ applications and match them up with a university in the United States or United Kingdom. Each university participating in the initiative will complete a detailed survey that will help program administrators match students with institutions.
The students for the first class will submit applications this spring, Ingram said. He said about 70 percent of the scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate students, 20 percent to master’s students and 10 percent to Ph.D. candidates.
Ingram said his trip to war-torn Iraq resulted in visits with 250-300 potential students, but it also gave him an insight into the “challenges faced by Iraqi higher education in general and more specifically the plight of its aspirant student population today.”