American University of Iraq, Sulaimani Receives US$5 Million Grant for Student Support


Monday, August 7, 2017 – 17:30 – News Release – Funds go to Existing Merit-Based Scholarships at a Time of Regional Economic Hardship

August 07, 2017 (Sulaimani, Iraq): The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) announced today the award of a $5,000,000 grant by the United States Department of State. Funds from the grant, to be received during 2017 and 2018, will support AUIS students by financing the University’s merit-based scholarship program.

More than 90% of AUIS students currently receive some form of tuition discount through merit-based scholarships and sponsorship. The new grant will cover the portion of each student’s tuition currently paid by the University.  The grant was awarded based on a proposal submitted by the University in March 2017.

“We are grateful to the United States Government and to the people of the United States of America for their generous support,” said AUIS President Bruce W. Ferguson. “This funding is vital to building a stable and secure peace in the region.  It helps us engage bright young people who have the skills, knowledge and commitment to build better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.  An investment in education is an investment in the future. We applaud the U.S. State Department for its recognition of this fact, and for its support of the University as an important part of a peaceful, prosperous postwar society.”

According to a U.S. Department of State official, the U.S. mission in Iraq supports AUIS’s goal to teach and train the future leaders of Iraq through American style education that focuses on critical thinking, tolerance, professional skill development and community involvement, thereby helping to build bridges among communities in the country, the Middle East region and abroad.  Through supporting quality education for students at AUIS, the U.S. Government seeks to promote a peaceful, more cohesive and prosperous future for Iraq and the IKR.

AUIS is the first non-government, not-for-profit institution of higher education in Iraq. Operated for the public benefit, it is the first private university in Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to be accredited by both the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. Its premier Academic Preparatory Program, offered to entering students, is the only English as a Second Language (ESL) program in Iraq that is accredited in the United States.  Its students, 35% of whom are women, include representatives from nearly all of Iraq’s communities, including Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, Ezidis and Christians as well as Syrian refugees.  Students take the Core Curriculum followed by courses in one of five majors: Engineering, Business, IT, International Studies, or English. Their critical thinking skills, fluency in English, and bilingual capabilities provide AUIS graduates with excellent employment prospects in both the private and public sectors.

For English language and international media, please contact Mehr Zahra, director of communications, at or 964(0)772-339-9305.

For Kurdish and Arabic media requests, please contact Bzhar Boskani, media and public relations adviser, at or 964(0)770-152-1893.