The Government of the United States and the Government of Iraq strongly support the preservation and expression of Iraq’s rich heritage, the establishment of a strong Iraqi education system at all levels, and the continuation of robust educational, cultural, and professional exchanges between our nations. The U.S.-Iraq Joint Coordinating Committee on Cultural and Educational Cooperation met in March 2011 in Baghdad, and in February 2012 in Washington, D.C.
The United States and Iraq are working together to build a strong Iraqi higher education system with long-term links with U.S. academic institutions. U.S. and Iraqi efforts helped increase the number of Iraqi students studying in the United States by more than 45 percent to 616 students in the 2010-2011 academic year over the previous year. An EducationUSA education advising event featuring up to 10 universities will be held in April 2012, building on the success of the first-ever fair in Erbil in October 2011.
Through educational advising, we will continue to provide accurate information about U.S. higher education to Iraqi students who aspire to study at U.S. institutions. Hundreds of Iraqi students and scholars have studied or conducted research in the U.S. through the Fulbright Program, with 35 students and 35 faculty expected to participate in the 2012-13 academic year.
Seven U.S. and seven Iraqi universities participate in the Iraq University Linkages Program, which pairs U.S. and Iraqi faculty and administrators to strengthen university curricula, enhance and update teaching methods and technology, and improve career services for students. The current linkages match Basrah University with Oklahoma State University; Salahaddin University with the University of Cincinnati; Tikrit University with Ball State University; Kufa University with the University of Kentucky; Baghdad University with Georgia State University; the University of Dohuk with Michigan State University; and the University of Technology with the University of Missouri at Columbia.