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King's Principal meets PM of Iraq

Principal meets with PM of IraqProfessor Rick Trainor, Principal of King’s and President of Universities UK, met with His Excellency Nouri al Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq, as part of a roundtable on higher education at the British Council in London.

The roundtable included Lord Kinnock, Chair of the British Council, Sion Simon MP, Minister for Further Education, HE Christopher Prentice, HM Ambassador to Iraq, representatives from the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Education Committee and the PM’s Office, as well as from the British Universities Iraq Consortium.

The participants in the meeting confirmed the UK’s commitment to Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki’s Education Initiative, launched earlier this year. Lord Kinnock and Nouri Al Maliki also announced £3 million of new funding provided by the Department for International Development to help the Government of Iraq develop greater capacity in Iraqi higher education institutions.

Professor Trainor said: “I am delighted to express the support of Universities UK for the Iraqi Education Initiative. The international reputation of UK universities for excellence means that we are able to offer world-class teaching and research to Iraqi students. This will enable them to employ these skills in the rebuilding of the country. The long and distinguished history of academic co-operation between our two countries means that many of Iraq’s leading academics were trained in the UK. The commitment of Universities UK is to ensure that the next generation of Iraqi academics has similar opportunities.”

Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki launched the Iraq Education Initiative in January 2009 in Baghdad. The Initiative includes an ambitious five-year overseas scholarship programme that aspires to send more than 10,000 students a year to English-speaking countries for overseas study, with the UK and US set to become the prime destinations. $1 billion has been earmarked and Mr Maliki has already authorised $54 million for the first year of the scheme.

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