SULAIMANIYA, Iraq, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Iraqi education officials are planning to build a university with instructors from around the world where graduates are prepared for the global job market.
The planned American University of Iraq will be built on a hill in Sulaimaniya, the eastern capital of Iraqi Kurdistan about 150 miles north of Baghdad, the New York Times reported Wednesday. Barham Salih, the Kurdish founder of the project, told the Times that the goal of the university is to keep more of Iraq's intellectuals from fleeing to other countries, as well as to reform the education process in Iraq. Classes at the university will be conducted in English.
The university hopes to have 5,000 undergraduates by 2021, most of whom will first complete a six-month intensive course in English, the newspaper reported.
Before the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, Baghdad had been the capital of education in the Middle East for centuries. Construction of the university is scheduled to begin in the spring pending funding, the Times reported.