LTU and the department has hosted several visits from Iraq with ministers, directors and university principals. Today about 15 graduate students from Iraq study at different divisions at The Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural resources engineering. As part of this relationship, UNESCO and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in Kurdistan (an autonomous part of Iraq) invited Head Ulla Grönlund together with prof. Nadhir Al-Ansari and Sven Knutsson to visit the university in the town of Koya, about 50 km east of the capital Erbil with 1.2 million inhabitants.
- UNESCO does a great job in supporting the positive development of this ravaged Iraq, says Head Ulla Gronlund, adding: support for higher education and research play a crucial role as the country is in urgent need of people with a higher education and PhDs.
The visit was coordinated with the conference "Petroleum and Mineral Resources" where several presentations were made. During their stay they visited the university administration, ministries and had negotiations with UNESCO. The result was a draft agreement on an expanded collaboration to support the positive development in Iraq.
The attention and interest for this Swedish delegation from LTU gave great media coverage. The Vice Principal at the University of Koya turned out to be an old LTU student with a clear western Swedish dialect, a positive surprise to the Swedish delegation. Several visits are scheduled at LTU in spring 2013.
- We have previous experience of working together with UNESCO and it is gratifying that we are invited to discuss further cooperation. In Iraq there is an almost infinite need of things we can provide, so it is an honor to be able to contribute, says Sven Knutsson.