SULAIMANI, Iraq, October 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
American University Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) today announced an important step toward educating the next generation of engineers in Iraq, for Iraqis, with US$30 million in capacity building support from Afren Plc. This funding will support the university's overall infrastructure and, in particular, development of a petroleum engineering program that will include a heavy oil research initiative and vocational training courses.
"The establishment of this program corresponds with an evident need in Iraq for highly skilled engineers - including petroleum engineers - and promises long-term career opportunities for our students," said Dr. Athanasios Moulakis, president of American University Iraq, Sulaimani. "At the same time, AUIS will be building capacity to ensure that the Iraqi people share in the economic benefits of the evolving oil industry, especially in the Kurdistan region of Iraq."
AUIS established its general engineering program in partnership with the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU). The curriculum is modeled after the world's foremost general engineering and engineering science programs offered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Stanford University; University of California - Berkeley; University of Toronto; and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. The AUIS general engineering degree also is designed to meet the standards of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET), America's premier engineering accrediting organization.
A general engineering degree provides sound training in the fundamentals of engineering, which helps avoid excessive specialization. General engineering makes students more versatile and better equipped to adapt to rapidly changing technologies. AUIS will use a portion of the funding to establish coursework and vocational training in petroleum engineering. This will ensure that its graduates have a solid foundation in the basics of engineering and firm knowledge of Iraq's primary industry, reinforcing the university's commitment to civil society by contributing a skilled workforce that national and international companies can rely upon. The program will be enriched by a heavy oil research initiative.
Students who are admitted to the AUIS engineering program must meet the standards set forth by the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Ministry of Higher Education and the Republic of Iraq's Ministry of Higher Education, as a minimum. Students must score 80 percent or better on the baccalaureate exam and must have a cumulative AUIS grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (B average or higher) in the first two semesters of their academic program. They must receive a minimum grade point average of 2.7 in math and science courses.
"Afren is delighted to be supporting American University Iraq, Sulaimani in developing a world class petroleum engineering programme, at a time of significant growth in the development of the upstream sector in Iraq," said Osman Shahenshah, chief executive, Afren Plc. "This capacity building support is very much in line with our track record of similar initiatives established in West Africa."
AUIS is collaborating with CU to develop its curriculum in general engineering and students will enroll in the spring semester of 2012. The university is exploring further partnerships with oil industry leaders and universities that excel in petroleum engineering education and other related fields.
About American University Iraq, Sulaimani
AUIS is a non-profit, private university offering a comprehensive, student-centered liberal arts education to all qualified students regardless of their background. Since its establishment in 2006, AUIS has grown from a small university of 50 students into a large, vibrant community of 500 students from all corners of Iraq. AUIS accepts students from all over Iraq based on their record of past academic performance and potential for success, regardless of affiliation or origin. In the fall 2011, AUIS moved to its new home on a beautiful campus on the outskirts of Sulaimani. At these state-of-the-art facilities, students receive a top-notch education and benefit from the latest technology and an internationally-trained faculty. For more information visit http://www.auis.edu.iq
About Afren plc
Afren is an independent upstream oil and gas exploration and production company listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange and constituent of the Financial Times Stock Exchange Index of the leading 250 UK listed companies. Afren has a portfolio of 31 assets across 12 countries spanning the full cycle E&P value chain. Afren is currently producing from its assets offshore Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire and holds further interests in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, the Joint Development Zone of Nigeria - São Tomé & Príncipe, Kenya, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Seychelles, Tanzania and South Africa. For more information please refer to http://www.afren.com
For more information:
Heidi F. Diedrich, AUIS Director of Communications, Heidi.email@example.com, +964-0770-461-5385
Dlovan Barwari, AUIS Media Specialist/Arabic Press, firstname.lastname@example.org, +964-0770-161-3430
SOURCE American University Iraq Sulaimani