Innovative Governance Practices for Higher Education Institutions in Iraq

Cofinanciado por:
Acrónimo | INSPIRE
Designação do projeto | Innovative Governance Practices for Higher Education Institutions in Iraq
Código do projecto | 598790-EPP-1-2018-1-IT-EPPKA2-CBHE-SP (2018-3909/001-001)
Objetivo principal | Higher Education - International Capacity Building

Região de intervenção |

Entidade beneficiária |
  • Università de Siena (líder)
  • Al-Furat Al-awsat Technical University - ATU(parceiro)
  • Al-Karkn University of Science - KUS(parceiro)
  • Alma Mater Studiorum-Universita di Bologna(parceiro)
  • Al -QASIM Green University - QGU(parceiro)
  • Aydin Istanbul University - IAU(parceiro)
  • Basrah University for Oil and Gas BUOG(parceiro)
  • Istanbul Aydin University(parceiro)
  • Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research - Mohesr(parceiro)
  • Southern Technical University - STU(parceiro)
  • Universidade de Évora(parceiro)
  • University of Baghdad - UOB(parceiro)
  • University of Basrah - UOB, Basmedcol(parceiro)
  • University of Mosul - UOM(parceiro)
  • University of Sumer - UOS(parceiro)
  • Wasit University / UOW(parceiro)

Data de aprovação | 03-09-2018
Data de inicio | 15-01-2019
Data de conclusão | 14-01-2022
Data de prorrogação | 14-01-2023

Custo total elegível | 993365 €
Apoio financeiro da União Europeia | Comissão Europeia - 993365 €
Apoio financeiro público nacional/regional |



Objetivos, atividades e resultados esperados/atingidos

The overarching goal of INsPIRE is to support, through the cooperation of European institutions, the rebuilding, modernisation, and internationalisation of the governance system of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Iraq with a specific focus on planning and programming systems. Due to the recent crisis and political economic situation, the current higher education system requires a strong intervention to face the weakness of the existing governance system.

To institutionalize good governance practices in Iraqi HEIs, which also means enforcing institutional values such as autonomy, accountability, participation, and internationalization, as well as implementing well-structured management systems, will contribute to the development of Iraqi HIEs helping them to meet the international standards.

Therefore, the final aim of the project is to support HEIs in Iraq in order to make them capable of establishing a modern governance framework through the adoption of innovative practices. More specifically, it seeks to:

•Enhance good governance, management and accountability practices in the HEIs;
•Establish a clear governance framework, including well-defined and clear mission and goals through the definition and implementation of action plans;
•Strengthen the capacity of HEIs to develop their own specific strategies and to implement them effectively and efficiently by means of programming systems;
•Strengthen the international relations management within the HEIs;
•Improve the participation in strategic planning and development activities of non-university actors andnon-state actors.

Like any governance dimension, all the above-mentioned objectives require a good a strategic orientation and capacity to be accomplished but, at the same time, they are also preconditions for an effective strategic planning. Obviously, the implementation of a prior and careful diagnosis aimed at identifying current weakness of the present governance system is a necessary step in order to finalise priorities.

InsPIRE complies with the Erasmus + Capacity Building field and fulfils the aims of capacity building projects, particularly addressing the challenges faced by HEIs in Iraq in terms of governance. More in details, the role of European experts will be the one of improve Iraqi partners’ knowledge and competences in carrying on their strategic plans specifically intended to support several governance dimensions.

The project is also consistent with the European strategy for Iraq (Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council of 8.01.2018 and Iraqi national development plans), which provides the support for higher education policy and governance, by virtue of the role played by education as a catalyst for development.

The working methodology used to design the project is based on a participatory approach where all decisions, especially those regarding the design of activities, are the result of a process of close collaboration among all partners. The WPs and the activities to be carried out are established on the basis of a systematic review of institutions' needs in partner countries, as well as of an intensive consultation with partners in programme countries. The overall approach is based on the idea that “one size does not fit all”, proposed by recent literature and practice. It means that the capacity building project is not based on the adoption of managerial models and techniques (e.g., benchmarking, business process re-engineering, lean) in a standard, and often unproductive, way. Rather, it is built on the following assumptions:
-Realise a careful diagnosis: the whole exercise of cooperation between European and partners countries should begin with a need analysis to identify gaps in the local situation;
-Set priorities: governance frameworks have many dimensions, with different degrees of priority, thus there is a need to finalise specific strategies;
-Focus on implementation of change, maintaining flexibility in pursuing it: European partners should support the implementation of the strategic planning, monitoring and assessing progresses, and adjusting paths to evolving conditions.

The project consists of 8 WPs, each of which is made up of a specific set of activities.
The first step (WP1- Update of needs analysis) requires, besides the realisation of a comprehensive literature review aimed at identifying the existing governance frameworks, the development of an update needs analysis carried out by a European partner with the support and collaboration of one Iraqi university. This kind of study aims at identifying the current situation of the universities involved in the project and should enables the identification of specific topics to address. In doing so, covering the most important aspects allowing the governance improvement, it will be aimed at identifying both the gaps and the priorities to address. The analysis should be based on a combination between HEIs’ self-evaluation and the diagnosis elaborated by European experts. The WP provides also the identification of hypothetical stakeholders to be involved in innovative governance practices, being the basis for the activities included in WP5. The second step (WP2- Training and capacity building activities for internal staff in quality assurance and strategic planning) aims at realising capacity building through different kinds of training: online training; 3-days training study visits (3 participants per Iraqi HEI) at four European Universities (Siena, Tampere, Evora and Aydin Istanbul); 3-days training field missions (8 participants per Iraqi HEI) to be held in 2 Iraqi universities; 10 ToT (one per Iraqi university). These activities will be addressed to the universities leaders and academic staff and must cover all the aspects related to: 1) the continuous analysis of the ever-changing external and internal scenarios, in order to develop a consistent strategy (strategic elasticity); 2) the development of plans in which the objectives to be achieved are determined; 3) the definition of the means and the ways through which to achieve the objectives. As a matter of fact, these are the main facets the strategic planning is made up for, as well as the basis for an effective governance (in its most important dimensions) enhancement. Once the training section will come to the end, the participants and project team will be ready to start the third WP (WP3- Implementation of changes and best practices through action plans). In this WP, under the supervision and the guide of European partners, the trainees and their institutions will be involved in the development of action plans that should be implemented by each HEI. The cooperation among all partners will make possible the adoption and adaptation, in a proper way, of international managerial techniques to the local context, to guarantee a successful implementation of changes. Periodical impact assessment and refinement of decisions will be performed, based on the outcomes achieved and lessons learned during the implementation. These activities will be the basis for the realization of a guideline handbook for strategic planning and governance for HEIs.

According to the relevant literature on higher education governance, internationalization and wide participation of stakeholders are trend topic that guarantee a better governance. Thus, the project, in the following steps, provides a specific focus on the management and governance of international relation (WP4) e the stakeholders’ participation (WP5). The WP4 would support the HEIs to strengthen, through the development of useful tools and techniques, the internationalization process of their institutions by fostering academic and research collaboration, strengthening strategic cooperation, partnerships and networking. The WP5 provides the set up of a formal consultative body within HEIs, in order to assure a better coordination between the systems of education, higher education, and private/public sector, also ensuring the involvement of other non-state actors. Three cross-cutting aspect of the project are: WP6 (Quality Plan), aiming at guaranteeing that the different activities (and their deliverables and outputs) are implemented within the assigned budget and timeframe, while assuring that the overall goal and specific objectives are achieved.The second cross-cutting aspect is the Project Dissemination and Exploitation (WP7). The dissemination of the project will start from the earlier stages (preparation and inception). Vision and mission will be prepared, and web channels will be used to distribute related information and to make partners and direct/indirect beneficiaries aware of our objectives.The final cross-cutting aspect is the Project Management (WP8), which is concerned with issues related to the operational and financial aspects of the project.