About CUE

The Catholic University in Erbil (CUE) is a non-profit institution of higher education and scientific research providing recognized degrees in the arts and sciences.

CUE welcomes students of all cultures, faiths and backgrounds to come study in an environment of tolerance and academic excellence, promoting, quality, and the dignity and justice.

CUE is an open academic community, based in the best tradition of higher education, dedicated to forming the next generation of leaders to serve with professional excellence in Kurdistan, Iraq and internationally, for the common good, and the dignity of the human person.

As a member of the worldwide community of Catholic University, CUE will be able to introduce its students to some of the finest scholars in the world who will regularly be present as professors and teachers here on the CUE campus.

CUE students will also have the ability to communicate and participate virtually with our partner universities in Australia, USA and Europe.

About CUE President

Academic biography of Dr Riadh Francis

He received his Bachelor degree (B.Sc) in Biology from the University of Baghdad in 1974 attaining the top rank among the graduates of the Department of Biology, College of Science. He worked, following his graduation, as an assistant scientific researcher at the veterinary hospital of Erbil. He then worked as a demonstrator at the Department of Biology, University of Sulaimanyia, from which he obtained a scholarship, in 1982, to pursue his postgraduate study (Master degree) in the University of Sheffield, UK. However, and as a result of his early scientific publications, the first of which published in the renowned scientific journal of “Nature”, his department recommended submitting his thesis for a Ph.D instead of an M.Sc, accomplishing an outstanding standard in 1985. He went on to commence his post as a lecturer in the University of Salahaddin, Erbil, Iraq and was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1989, following his active research and supervision of postgraduate projects. He left Iraq following the uprising in 1991 and commenced his post as a postdoctoral research scientist at the Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, Sheffield University, UK, following receiving a grant from the Royal Society of science in the UK, which facilitated saving him from a refugee camp in Turkey as a result of appearing in a short clip of a report on a British tv station. He returned to Iraq in 2007 to resume his previous post at the University of Salahaddin and was also appointed as the director of cultural relations and also as an aid to the minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research of Kurdistan Region Government (KRG), where he was actively involved in signing MOUs with several universities in the USA and Europe. He then worked as Ministry’s coordinator with private universities in KRG until 2011 when he became director of Quality Assurance (QA) of the University of Salahaddin until his retirement in 2014. He published more than (20) papers in national and international periodicals, participated in many national and international conferences, and actively involved as member of numerous higher studies examination committees, departmental scientific and higher studies committees and the editorial board of the Journal of “Zanco”. He was a member of the Foundation Board of Hadyab Society for Competencies and he is currently a member of its Advisory Board. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University in Erbil (CUE) and had a significant role in the early stages of establishing (CUE) prior to his appointment as President & Vice-Chancellor of this university.

View CV

The CUE Logo – Explained

  1. The symbol, in general, is streamlined in dimensions which reflects the streamlined dimensions of the intellect.
  2. The pyramid shape and two lines on top symbolize the Babylonian design and Mesopotamian culture.
  3. The letter centering the gate shape refers to the first letter of Chaldean language ALAP (A) that descended from the Mesopotamian languages that first invented writing. Also, the letter ALAP (A) refers to the first letter of Arbil city name.
  4. The opened book shape in the middle of the pyramid shape dragging downward refers to the knowledge that emerged from the depth of civilization heading to the future.
  5. The shape of the gate at the bottom symbolizes the Erbil Citadel.

Strives to be a first-choice institution for discerning students who seek challenging programs, engaged faculty and a vibrant, globally connected campus culture through innovation in education, research and leadership.

Empower students of diversity and inclusion to contribute to the advancement of Local and Global communities through an emphasis on excellence in teaching and research, life-long learning, cultural enrichment, public-private partnerships and service to others.

Philosophy and Values

The CUE is a non-profit higher education and scientific research institution. It welcomes students from all cultures, religions, and educational backgrounds in an environment of tolerance and academic excellence. It stresses quality teaching and learning, peace, and justice.

It represents an open academic community based on the best higher education standards. It is dedicated to preparing the coming generation of professional leaders to work with competence and excellence in KR, Iraq and the world at large for the common good and human dignity.


In teaching, research, scholarship, creative endeavors, student services and in all aspects of the University’s operations is continuously pursued at the University to ensure institutional effectiveness and efficiency.


Reflected in our distinctive work ethic and in our commitment to excellence


Reflected in a culture and climate that seeks, welcomes and advances talented minds from diverse backgrounds


Honest communications, ethical behavior and accountability for words and deeds are expected from all members of the University community.


Reflected in our interdisciplinary approach, our focus on internal and external partnerships and our capacity to create new fields of inquiry

Life-Long Learning

Encouraging enthusiastic, independent thinkers and learners striving for personal growth.


Seeks to provide rigorous academic curricula and challenging co-curricular opportunities to promote the development of leadership qualities in students and to facilitate leadership development among faculty, staff and students.


Reflected in our shared commitment to lead by example in preserving and protecting our natural resources and in our approach to responsible financial planning.