INsPIRE: INmovative governance Practices for Higher Education Institutions in Iraq

INsPIRE WP3 Activity by Istanbul Aydin University-01.jpg

The INsPIRE project is an initiative funded by the European Union to support the development of Iraq's higher education system. This is a multi-year, multi-faceted project that seeks to create a more vibrant, sustainable, and equitable higher education system in Iraq. The project is a joint effort of multiple universities from across Europe and the Middle East, including Istanbul Aydin University.


The project aims to support Iraq's universities in meeting international standards of quality, in order to strengthen the country's education and research systems. The project also seeks to improve the governance, management and financial sustainability of universities by enhancing the research capacity and quality of the universities, as well as promoting international collaborations between Iraqi universities and their counterparts.


The primary objectives of the INsPIRE project are to increase access to quality higher education, promote research and innovation, and increase the employability of graduates. The project is focused on four key areas: curriculum development, student support services, accreditation, and the development of international partnerships.


Ten Iraqi Universities, the participation of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Iraq, the collaboration of EU universities from Portugal (Evora University), Turkey (Aydin Istanbul University) and Italy (Bologna University) with the participation of UNIMED under the coordination of Siena University: the big challenge of reforming the university governance system in Iraq as one of the biggest and most complex Arab country in the MENA region.


The role of Aydin Istanbul University in the project is very central, especially in leading the development work package (WP3). IAU supported the implementation of change, piloted the implementation of action plans at the level of each HEIs and drew up a general guideline handbook for strategic planning and governance. Furthermore, IAU was involved in all the other technical and managerial WP, participating actively in the scientific committee as well as in the management committee and the quality one. IAU also hosted the third project meeting.


The role of Istanbul Aydin University within the INsPIRE project provided expertise in the areas of quality assurance and enhancement, as well as in curriculum design and development. Istanbul Aydin was responsible for developing and coordinating the training activities, as well as providing guidance in the development of the curricula of Iraq's universities. It also provided technical advice and support to the other partner universities in the project, and lead the development of a quality assurance framework for the Iraqi higher education system. In addition, Istanbul Aydin coordinated the project's activities and liaising with the European Commission and Iraqi authorities.


The INSPIRE project, after 4 years of implementation, arrived towards its end. Despite the challenges faced, the project:

  1. achieved relevant results, thanks to the comprehensive capacity building action and the development of strategic plans.
  2. managed to have 10 Iraqi universities and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Baghdad working together for years for the first time.
  3. conducted a deep analysis of the Higher Education sector in Iraq, identifying needs and gaps, setting the line for future improvements.
  4. opened 10 consultation centers to encourage university to dialogue with local actors and local authorities, increasing participation of non-institutional actors in the university's activities and planning.
  5. supported the Iraqi universities in the definition of a number of stategic goals for their internationalisation.
  6. increased the competences of the Iraqi staff members in terms of management, quality assurance, strategic planning and more.
  7. facilitated the relationships between Iraqi universities and universities in Europe, setting the basis for future long-lasting agreements, exchanges and joint initiatives.


Overall, the INsPIRE project is an ambitious and important effort to improve the higher education system in Iraq. The project seeks to create a more vibrant, sustainable, and equitable higher education system that meets international standards and reflects the values of the country. Istanbul Aydin University is playing an important role in this effort, by leading the project and providing guidance and technical assistance.

güncelleme: 24.3.2023 18:01