// UoS Participates at APPRAIS 2nd Partnership Meeting & WP2 Workshop

November 24, 2022
Screenshot 2022 11 24 At 16.32.11

UoS Participates at APPRAIS 2nd Partnership Meeting & WP2 Workshop

University of Sulaimani Participates at the 2nd Partnership Meeting & WP2 Workshop of Erasmus+ APPRAIS Project in Pisa (Italy) 15-17 March 2022


On March 15-16-17, 2022, a team from the University of Sulaimani participated at the 2nd Partnership Meeting & WP2 Workshop of Erasmus+ APPRAIS Project held at the University of Pisa. In the beginning University of Pisa welcomed representatives from European HEIs, from 8 Kurdish Universities and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Several seminars were held during March 15th, including WP2- Definition of a roadmap for a better university governance and implementation of Bologna process at KRI HEIs, Presentation of the Bologna process implementation at the European universities: good practices, lessons learnt, obstacles and solutions- in which the European partners shared their experience on Implementing the Bologna process and overcoming the challenges; Presentation of the needs analysis and state of the art about the implementation of Bologna process at the Kurdish HEIs, Presentation of the roadmap of the University of Evora as an example for Kurdish universities, Presentation of the roadmap of the University of Evora as an example for Kurdish universities, Working groups to discuss and brainstorm about the APPRAIS roadmap for Kurdish universities, Working groups to discuss and brainstorm about the APPRAIS roadmap for Kurdish universities, Restitution phase in plenary session and QA sessions.


On March 16th the University of Pisa hosted a public conference titled “Priorities and challenges for a cooperation framework with Kurdish universities: Dialogue with the University of Pisa and local stakeholders” opened by the Rector of the University, Professor Paolo Maria Mancarella, and with the participation of representatives from the Regional Council of Tuscany, the Deputy Major of Pisa, the Research services of the University of Pisa. The conference was opened by a speech from the Rector of the University of Pisa, Professor Paolo Maria Mancarella. Second speaker of the day was Dr. Mohammed Hussein Ahmed, Director General and Head of the Apparatus of Supervision and Quality Assurance of the MOHESR of the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Third on stage to open the public conference was Marcello Scalisi, Director of UNIMED, coordinator of the project APPRAIS: “The way to avoid conflict (as it is unbelievably happening in Europe) and support mutual understanding is to improve our relations, working together to define future strategies for international cooperation, listening to each others priorities and responding to common needs and challenges”.

The day was also the occasion to commemorate the deaths occurred due to the chemical attack in Halabja in 1988, during the closing days of the Iran–Iraq War. Professor Mahabad Abdullah, President of the University of Halabja, asked the audience to join the Kurdish colleagues with a minute of silence.

The discussion was then split into two round tables, the first one was titled Priorities, needs, strategies and challenges for a cooperation framework with Kurdish universities, chaired by Professor Marco Abate, Vice-Rector for Teaching at the University of Pisa. Dr. Hussein opened the discussion with a speech on enhancing the level of quality of the HE system as the top priority for the Kurdish universities. The will to enhance the dialogue between universities in the region was reiterated by Marcello Scalisi. Antonio Mazzeo, President of the Regional Council of Tuscany and President of AICCRE Toscana (the Italian Association for the Council of Municipalities and Regions of Europe) centered his speech on the importance to promote initiatives of mutual knowledge and collaboration, exchanges and twinning, between the local and regional authorities of the different countries of Europe and outside Europe. On the conference panel also the President of Duhok Polytechnic University, Professor Aree Adel Abdulqader who highlighted the fact that the Kurdistan Region is rapidly growing especially from 2014 where the number of institutions has expanded dramatically. Associate Professor Jesper Eidem from the University of Pisa who praised the Kurdish academics for their activism and collaboration: “After 2004 I was able to come back to Iraq and I was very surprised by the openness, efficacy and competence of the Kurdish colleagues and partners, it is always a great pleasure to work in such environment”.

The second roundtable, titled International cooperation from different perspectives: Municipality, Region and University, was chaired by Professor Francesco Marcelloni, Vice-Rector for international cooperation and relations of the University of Pisa, and started with an opening from Raffaella Bonsangue, Deputy Mayor of Pisa City. Among the priorities for the future, the Deputy Major spoke of co-development as the key for the future, being international cooperation initiatives an inalienable element of Italy’s foreign policy. Second on the floor was Filippo Giabbani from the Council of the Tuscany Region, who highlighted the great tradition of international cooperation of the Tuscany Region, more and more intense in the past 20 years, which granted it the title of the top region in Italy for international collaborations. Francesca Zampagni of the Research services Unit of the University of Pisa, presented the funding opportunities opened by Horizon Europe; Sumodip Sarkar, Vice-Rector for Innovation, Cooperation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Evora delivered a speech on the relevance for universities to engage in collaborations with firms, local authorities, the municipalities, the private sector, for employability through internationalisation; Professor Dr Ridha Hassan Hussein, President of University of Sulaimani presenting the priorities of its university as an example of a starting point for factual collaborations in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

In the afternoon of March 16, a seminar was held on WP3 – Strategic Planning, Management and Quality Assurance: Capacity Building action was given by Professor Marco Abate from University of Pisa and Dr Karzan Khidhir from University of Sulaimani which focused on WP3 work plan and the next steps (setting the calendar for the trainings and field visits, target groups, main content of the training). Then University of Murcia & Zakho University presented a seminar about WP4 – Bologna process implementation at KRI Universities: Recognition of credits and learning mobility.

The last day 17 March 2022 included several seminars about overview of the transversal WPs: WP8 Management (operational, financial and administrative aspects) + a session dedicated to the software purchase; WP7 – Dissemination and Exploitation by Duhok Polytechnic University & UNIMED which focused on the progress of the WP and next steps; WP6 – Project Quality and Evaluation was presented by University of Salaheddine & University of Halabja. External evaluation exercise with the partners was presented by the APPRAIS External Evaluator, Roberto Righi. The day was concluded by Wrap up about the main decisions of the partnership meeting and conclusions.

Then certificate of participation was awarded to the participants. University of Sulaimani President thanked UNIMED and University of Pisa for organizing and hosting the event.

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