UNESCO: Virtual campus for Iraq

The Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has launched a three-year Avicenna Virtual Campus project with Unesco to expand access and improve the nation's higher education system.

The project will be initiated at a two-day training workshop starting next Monday in Amman in Jordan. The workshop will focus on online course development for Iraqi academics and ministry representatives.

Three Avicenna centres will be established at the universities of Baghdad, Basra and Salahaddin to link these institutions with others that are part of the Avicenna Virtual Campus in the Mediterranean region. The virtual campus was first created by the European Commission and Unesco and now has centres in 14 countries.

The three Iraqi centres will be able to use modules developed by the Avicenna network over the past five years. Ultimately, each university will produce modules of its own which will then be pooled among institutions participating in the Avicenna Campus and the newly established African Virtual Campus.

The new virtual campus in Iraq will have a quality control system for online course production and delivery to create a virtual network of online education. As well, it will offer training programmes for teachers in online production engineering, and courses for students and adults throughout the country.