Tuesday, April 16, 2013

UIS Speaker Series explores American Higher Education Policy in Postwar Iraq

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series will explore American Higher Education Policy in Postwar Iraq. Dr. Jonathan Loopstra, an historian who spent a number of years teaching in Iraq, will discuss the condition of Iraqi universities in the aftermath of the 2003 war and present some prospects and challenges facing Iraqi college students today.

WHEN: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: UIS Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: Before the mid-1980s, Iraq had one of the best educational systems in the region until a series of wars and economic sanctions devastated Iraqi education. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraqis have struggled to revitalize these institutions, to reverse the effects of decades of decline, and to regain their place as an educational hub in the region. After 2003, foreign governments and international aid agencies provided millions of dollars in foreign aid to help the new Iraqi Ministry of Education improve colleges and universities across Iraq. In addition, individuals and corporations have invested heavily in new, private universities, particularly in Northern Iraq.

While a portion of Loopstra’s talk will summarize the recent history of education in Iraq, most of his focus will be on the experiences of Iraqi youth today. A number of questions will be addressed.

Loopstra is an assistant professor of late-Antique /Middle Eastern history at the Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He holds a M.S. degree in Syriac Studies from the University of Oxford, a M.A. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America.

The presentation is co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Central Illinois. For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speakers Series events and more information, visit http://illinois.edu/goto/speakerseries. All events are free and open to the public.

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