Oxford joins US initiative to revive Iraqi academe

October 10, 2003

Oxford University is part of a US-led international coalition to strengthen archaeological and environmental teaching and research at Iraq's universities after years of sanctions, neglect and repression.

Jeremy Black of Oxford's Oriental Institute is one of five academics who plan to travel to Baghdad to deliver lecture courses on the area's archaeology and history.

"I have worked in Iraq before and worked with archaeology departments," Dr Black said. "They are so demoralised now. They have no chairs in their offices, let alone books in the libraries."

He said that during the past 15 years, students had not been able to travel abroad, while several senior academics had simply disappeared. The academics plan to start the programme next autumn.

The project will receive funding of more than $4 million (£2.4 million) from the United States Agency for International Development as part of its recovery programme for Iraqi universities. It is led by the Research Foundation of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and is one of three announced by the US.

USAid said that its Higher Education and Development Programme for Iraq was one of its "most significant engagements with the university community in recent years". The universities would support the work of the Coalition Provisional Authority to strengthen the capacity of Iraqi universities, it said.

Each consortium is led by a US university. The SUNY-led consortium includes Columbia and Boston universities as well as Oxford. It will operate in partnership with Baghdad, Al Mustansiriyah, Mosul and Basra universities to modernise curricula in archaeology, Assyriology and environmental health, and update research methods in the three areas.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns