Delft, The Netherlands, 17 Nov 2021

IHE Delft strengthens partnership with Iraqi universities

Iraq faces a multifaceted water crisis with wide-ranging effects – a recent analysis of an early warning tool indicates that the country is at risk of conflict over water-related matters. To develop solutions, Iraq needs highly-skilled water professionals. IHE Delft, a partner to Iraq in its efforts to develop water capacity, and Iraqi stakeholders agreed to strengthen cooperation at a workshop held last week.

Iraqi scientists and other representatives from six Iraqi universities took part in the workshop, which focused on institutional capacity strengthening and capacity development for efficient water management and climate-smart agriculture.

Workshop participant Dr. Rawaa Putros Qasha, Director of Scholarships and Cultural Relations at Mosul University, said she planned to support collaboration between IHE Delft and Mosul University, which has a department of water management. 

“We are going to encourage not only our students, but also our staff members, to collaborate (with IHE Delft), to start new research about water management,” she said while attending the 10 November workshop, held at IHE Delft’s campus. 
IHE Delft Rector Eddy Moors highlighted the Institute’s new 12-month Master of Science in Water and Sustainable Development in his opening remarks, emphasising that the flexible programme enables students to pick and choose among water-related topics that serve their needs.  

The Iraqi delegation came to Delft as part of an 8-12 November working visit hosted by Wageningen University & Research Centre as part of a NUFFIC-funded Orange Knowledge Program project that aims to strengthen Iraq’s institutional capacity to efficiently manage water through climate-smart agriculture. 

During the visit, the Iraqi university presidents signed tailor-made Gender Equality Plans for their universities, committing to advance gender equality at their institutions. Gender was also a topic at the IHE Delft workshop, with speakers emphasising that gender and inclusiveness is a key feature of IHE Delft programs. 

Gender work at Basra University will get a boost from the Gender Equality Plan and cooperation with Dutch counterparts, according to Dr. Sarmad Ghazi Mohammed Al-Shawi, a biotechnology professor, who said it “will show us how to build the capacities of all the women inside the university and give them a good background to know their rights.” 


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