The Five-Year Strategy (2018/19-2022/23)
About the Plan
In August 2018, The Catholic University in Erbil designed in a future development plan. The plan ensures a scientific and an academic privileged status of the university. It aims to be the leading and pioneer plan on both the regional and international levels. It is hoped that it will acquire international recognition in implanting an actual role that would contribute the development of culture and education in the society. The strategic plan consists of three parts:-
Part one: some theoretical aspects of the strategic plan.
Part two: an analysis of the university situation during the academic year 2017/18
Part three: the future plan
The university seeks to give priority to choosing the BEST students, academic and administrative staff, and designing high-quality academic programs.
The mission of Catholic University in Erbil is in line with its vision to be innovative, creative and challenging in choosing the teaching methods, selecting academic staff with intellectual competence and ambition, and in interacting with the local community with an aim to meet its needs for future leaders who will contribute to achieving a sustainable development.
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.
The CUE is a scientific institution which endeavors to be a civil university in a global perspective. It draws on the tradition of sublime human values based on the spiritually and intellectually ancient and rich Oriental heritage. It is characterized by its diversity and openness to different ideologies. Therefore, it warmly welcomes students, lecturers and employees from various traditions, social, religious, and ethnic backgrounds in an environment of trust security, and respect for other.
1.Family community: in its efforts in realizing its mission, the CUE welcomes students, teaching staff, and management and caters for them as diverse but intimate members of a family. In doing so, the university creates an atmosphere of mutual care for and response to the spiritual, social, emotional, and material needs of all those it serves.
2.Dignity: the CUE stresses on the dignity of the individual through openness to a variety of attitudes, experiences, traditions, and mutual dialogue in the teaching and learning process and interaction among the members of the university community.
3.Diversity: the university strives to inculcate an evaluation of and respect for differences regardless of where they come from so that its graduates can work successfully in multiple cultural contexts.
4.The ethical dimension: the university intends to educate people on personal integrity so that they may realize the importance of learning throughout life. It calls for efforts based on conscience to reach truth through free endeavor that is based on conscientious and responsible use of knowledge. It also promotes the values of ethics and social justice and human rights as a for its programs and activities.
5.Service: the university’s motto is: ” I am bound by my responsibilities” in all its curricular, common curricular and non-curricular programs and activities.
6.Truth: the university strives to inculcate a sense of interest in truth and commitment towards wisdom. It encourages an education that is based on values, creative scholarship, eloquent and imaginative use of research and technology and its applications and scientific leaning opportunities. It also seeks to enhance creative, logical, and ethical ideology with an aim to develop effective communication skills, aesthetic sense, and deepen international, social and historical awareness.
7.Humanization: the university views leaning as a humane and social activity rather than a competitive practice.
8.Intellect and Faith: the educational vision of the university is based on teaching as a dynamic and fruitful interaction between the traditional resources of wisdom and modern development of knowledge. Through the teaching and learning process, the university seeks to embody ideological and scientific attitudes that have ethical dimensions used as the basis for any approach in solving modern problems and build a future vision.
9.Loyalty: the university’s commitment to excellence requires that its members live its mission and be loyal to the promises it makes. In realizing this commitment, the teaching and managerial staff as well as students are required to commit themselves to loyalty and justice and share their experiences in a harmonious way.
- Achieving academic excellence through providing modern and efficient academic programs in line with international quality standards. It commits itself to making full use of technological developments in achieving its goal.
- Graduate qualified students with a sense of taking responsibility and who are equipped with in-depth knowledge within their majors.
- Expanding liberal and professional knowledge and the creation of a diverse and inclusive society.
- Preparing scientifically, conscientiously, and ethically qualified leaders who have the potential to shape their local and national world scientifically, morally and professionally to help make the world a humane society with more transparency, justice, and dignity.
- Creating opportunities to study in the various disciplines needed in Kurdistan Region (KR) in a way that contributes to bringing about integrative relationship amongst the citizens and different fields of workplace.
- Consolidating a concept of intimacy and unity through establishing a university where, despite its specific character, the doors are open to who the nationals, religions, ethnicities and denominations coexisting in KR with the same conditions and privileges.
Ensuring the provision of special units for research and strategic studies in different disciplines that serve the region in coping with global changes and to consolidate the direct relationship of KR with people and government all over the world through holding conferences participation in such conferences.
The strategic objectives of the Catholic University in Erbil can be classified into five main categories:
- Students: the success of students at the university means their post-graduation ability to successfully and positively engage in various activities to promote human experience at the local, regional, and international levels. The CUE will provide them with the required educational experience, training, academic support, and guidance to help them reach this goal.
- Efficient and quality academic programs: The CUE will work to be recognized as a high-ranking higher education institution in terms of delivering quality teaching, leading-edge programs, innovation pedagogy, and commitment to carrying out solid research and ensuring social justice and community engagement.
- Image and reputation: in a bid to help make the university well-known worldwide, the Catholic University in Erbil has joint the Catholic University Consortium. This step will ensure placing the university on a broad platform for and facilitate running staff and student exchange programmes and a wider participation in international activities in terms of projects, conferences, workshops and seminars.
- The university status in society. The Catholic University in Erbil will take up a series of initiatives to help make its activities reach out the local community to ensure playing its significant role in developing the local community.
- Infrastructure: The Catholic University in Erbil Works toward redesigning the layout and teaching facilities at the campus to provide the needed facilities to support the above-mentioned objectives. The construction of a new building is underway within the premise of the university that will comprise new colleges and departments, a culture center as well as facilities for extra curriculum activities such as sports, additional labs for IT, language learning center, engineering, as well as additional teaching rooms.
1. Policies - Student Admission
One of the main challenges facing the CUE is admitting high ranking students with the required potentials to pass the study curricula in English. Traditionally, high ranking students are those who have scored high marks in public high school general exams and who choose to study in the main academic departments at public universities free of tuition fees. Long-term policies, therefore, have to be drawn highlighting the general policy and orientation of the university.
Among the obstacles facing students in applying to CUE is a traditional personal attitude of choosing those departments with high social standing. Due to social demand, students who score high marks in the final public exams at high school would freely choose the colleges arranged according to their scientific hierarchy, i.e. medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, followed by engineering colleges: architecture, civil engineering, electronic engineering.., which are not available at the CUE. Even Christian students with high marks refrain from applying to the CUE for the same reason. To address this problem, the following policies will be adopted:
- Opening of medical and engineering faculties at the university during the next five years to attract a large number of prospective applicants with high marks.
- Prior to the beginning of the academic year, the university has to launch guidance and awareness-raising campaigns for prospective applicants and their parents advising them that selection of their majors at the university should not be based on the marks they scored. Rather, the choices they make should be based on their personal interests and their study and learning potentials based on the skills required by the local labor market.
- Organizing workshops at the university on student guidance delivered by competent specialists in this field.
- Highlighting the importance of Eglish language as the language of instruction in the curricula delivered at the university and the role of the preparatory year in preparing students for the majors they choose.
- launching intensive media campaigns to acquaint both students and parents on the academic departments at the university and the new deptartments to be opened in the coming years.
- Efforts will be made to help change students behavior at the university campus in line with the rules of conduct at the university highlighting the importance of off-campus soft skills, methodology, and courses.
- Making use of modern advanced programs, practices, and experiences used in other private universities where the curricula delivered is in English, such as Tshik and Kurdistan – Hawler University.
- Acquainting the general public on the current and future additional programs related to finding common ground between the university and the local community.
- Launching a comprehensive campaign for improving the university profile and its standing through carrying out social activities, educational and teaching programs.
- The university’s name as a “Catholic” university entails a lot of misunderstanding giving the impression for many prospective applicants and their parents that it is a Christian institution and exclusively catholic. Therefore, the attitude of the general public, especially applicants, should be changed stressing that the university is open for all high-ranking students regardless of their religion, sect, denomination, or social class.
- Organizing field visits for students from distinguished hgih schools, especially those where English is the language of instruction, to visit the university and have an idea about its activities.
- The present leaflet published by the university needs to be redesigned and updated so as to include topics of interest for both students, the university local community, and the society at large. It should also be distributed on a regular basis for those interested.
- Intensive campaings will be carried out in the social media and websites. This will be discussed thoroughly in a separate section of the university policy.
- Media and awareness-raising campaigns should be carried out to highlight the role of the university in serving the needs of society. Efforts should be made to reach out for the underprivileged and IDPs by offering them free or low-paid educational opportunities.
- Media and awareness-raising campaigns will be carried out to highlight the university’s relationship with the catholic universities in America, Australia, and New Zealand as well as the European universities.
- Opening the doors of the university for high ranking students coming from outside Kurdistan Region and who are in a position to pay the registration and tuition fees along with the expenses incurred for accommodation in the dormitories or those who find accommodation in the social centers and cannot afford the tuition fees.
- Providing opportunities for distinguished disabled students on equal footing with the rest of the students and in the realization of the university mission to serve society.
2- Policies – Teaching Staff
The teaching staff is one of the main pillars of any scientific and academic institution. Therefore, the Catholic University is working hard to provide the necessary scientific staff for the university and adopt the following policies:
- The basic conditions for selecting the educational Staff
The university works on specifying the main conditions that need to exists in the academic staff as follows:
- Total faith in the teaching profession
- Absolute loyalty to the Catholic University
- Good personality and behavior
- The certificate should be at least a master’s degree
- The direct relationship between the studied degree of the certificate and the teaching material
- Have a teaching and learning certificate or have an experience that is not less than 5 years.
- Scientific ability and willingness to preparing and publishing scientific research.
- Working on supporting and marketing the mission and vision of the university.
- Accepting to work as a member of a team that fulfills the goals of the university.
- Preparing a permanent teaching staff
As a basic component of the CUE potential, the university works to secure a permenat scientific and teaching staff as follows.
- Employment of young local teaching staff who enjoy the required qualifications who will be trained through teaching courses both at the university campus and abroad making use of the available communication websites shared by the CUE and other Catholic universities all over the world.
- Employment of retired academic teachers with long experience in teaching and research writing on an annual contract basis that can be renewed annually. These teachers are expected to provide the university with additional academic and scientific experience and support.
- Preparation of a long-term plan on the number of academic teachers and researchers needed according to the present and future departments and disciplines.
- Communication with present and future international universities with whom memoranda of understanding have been and will be signed for offering the university scholarship opportunities needed by the university.
- Setting up an integrated plan for the scholarship program at the university as stated in (4) above.
- The university will announce study opportunities and invite qualified young people to make use of such opportunities.
- To achieve transparency of selection of candidates for scholarships, the university will set up a committee to interview all eligible applicants.
- The university will take legal procedures to ensure that those short-listed for the scholarship will complete their study, return back home, and serve the university. This is achieved through binding financial warrants as per the study period and the expenses incurred for the study.
- Organizing intensive English language preparatory courses for scholarship candidates before they join their scholarship study.
- Provision of all the information needed on the study abroad and briefing the candidate on the universities they will study in and issues related to life in the campus, accommodation..etc.
- Employment of foreign teacheirs
The university will seek to employ some foreign teachers with affordable wages compatible with the financial potentials of the university.
- Due to the limited nature of funds at the disposal of the university and as it may be difficult to pay salaries to teachers similar to the payment made to their counterparts in European countries, the CUE, along with the website of the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of Erbil will seek bringing in some volunteers to teach at the university.
- The university will announce its needs for specialized foreign academic teachers and will specify the disciplines, terms, and privileges to be enjoyed by the academic teachers making use of the TESOL website.
- The CUE will make a thorough study of all the CVs submitted and verify their authenticity and requesting letters of support from the higher education institutions of the applicants in addition to medical and security certificates to ensure good conduct.
- The university will conduct a skype interview with the candidates to double check the information stated in their CVs.
- Only those foreign academic teachers will be employed who hold a post-graduate degrees with a teaching experience that is not less than three years.
- The priority of employment will be given to those academic teachers who have the ability and skill to teach parallel subject within the discipline they deliver, especially with regard to the English language where the teacher can teach in the English department as well as non-department (ESP) teaching.
- Priority will be given to teachers with teaching experience in the Iraqi educational institutions and the Middle East. They shall be covered by all the terms stated above.
- The university shall provide all the work requirements needed by the teaching staff. Details on this will be specified later.
- The CUE will provide private or shared accommodation for international teaching staff as per the contract signed and the financial situation of the university.
- The university will provide transportation facilities to and from the university according to the financial situation of the university.
- The university will issue a leaflet containing all the terms of reference for the working staff of the university and the teaching hours.
- Eligible and qualified married couples are welcome and will be favored in employment as academic teachers.
- A file will be kept for each teacher containing all the information such as the CV, copies of the surveys conducted by the university on the students, teachers and admins regarding their activities, teaching eligibility ,and qualification, and general conduct in the campus.
- Newly appointed foreign teachers shall be provided with all the information needed about the university campus, the conditions of living in Ankawa along with certain behavioral patterns that teachers should refrain from as, unlike their country of origin, may be offending. The university seeks to write a guiding booklet on this issue.
3. Policies – Marketing
The Catholic University in Erbil will adapt the following means and policies for implementation of its strategy.
- Bulletin Leaflet:
- Redesigning the bulletin leaflet
- Designing the bulletin materials related to the departments and activities available in the university
- The general bulletin leaflet can be used for a certain period rather than for only one year.
- Reference to the future growth trends and development of the university in relation to the proposed colleges, centers, and sections to be opened.
- A reference to the vision, mission and strategic objectives of the University
- The website is one of the basic means of providing a bright picture of the university and motivating students to study at it. Besides, it is a basis of evaluating the university ranking by the quality assurance section. The university will work to redesign the content of the website to include the following:
- Message from the University Chancellor
- Vision and Mission of the University
- The role of the university in society
- Some strategic goals of the university
- Current and future departments
- CV ‘s of the university President and employees
- Video and image information about the campus
- Events, lectures, visits … etc
- Application form for study at the university
- Courses taught in departments
- Interaction between teachers and students
- Social Media:
It is difficult to imagine this world without social media. The general public as well as studnets often use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in a distractive way rather than as means of education and learning at a time when it can be used as an efficient and creative tool in coping future educational needs and challenges.
Suggested below are some current electronic means that can be used to support and enrich the teaching/learning process:
- Facebook: Is a social networking site that enables users to share photos, posts comments, link news or any other interesting topics. It can be further activated to serve as a link between the university and its employees and the general public.
- Twitter: it is a social networking site that provides online news and information via SMS messages called tweets. It is a service that enables friends, family members and co-workers to communicate and stay in touch through the rapid and frequent exchange of tweets. People publish their Tweets in the form of messages, videos, links or texts on their profile. It can likewise be used by the university to promote both the academic and social fields.
- Instagram: is one of the social networks used to take photographed photos and videos and then share them by smart phones like other social networking sites. When an account is created it shows a profile where people are able to publish a picture or a short clip which followers can view, comment and post their response to it. The user can also follow other users and learn about their interesting stories. The network can be used as for educational purposes where the images can be shared for the purpose of collecting factual data about the course work rather than relying on information and data collected by other means. Using it supports students in their academic work.
- Snapchat: a social networking application for recording, broadcasting and sharing image messages. Users can take pictures, record videos, add text and graphics, and send them to the control room. Through this program students can immediately interact with the real educational sources . Some lecturers in European universities encourage their students at the beginning of the academic year ask questions and interact with them in the lecture hall. This means students can actively interact with their teachers taking screenshots of the slides presented by the lecturer during the course and annotating before sending them. Students began using this application for the purpose of understanding topics and subjects not otherwise understood as well as answering the questions raised by their teachers.
- Trello: is basically an online sticky note tool containing images, videos, and files with a thread link through which ti is possible to share with groups. The organizers of the program try to put a blackboard like Pinterest where a Pin can share a related information.
- Vine: This program is used for making six-minute video recording that are automatically re-displayed. It is available in the field of social communication. It can be used as a source for teaching and learning in higher education institutions as, for instance, in video shooting of campus, buildings, logistics and live events where parts of the occasion can be shared among the students and community.
- Pocket: this program feature allows collecting and downloading articles related to specific topics on the internet where users can follow other users. In this case students can use it to communicate with the lecturers to discuss topics related to their studies or visiting websites. The use of this program can cover the time and effort inside of having students using commercials for students groups also the topics can be automatically set.
- Google Docs: This program is used for sharing documents among students. It also improves their ability to write and edit their work. Ths is seen as a means of exchanging documents and information without having to meet in groups in seminars or workshops. Google doc. Helps students in taking notes when it is needed. It also helps them to improve their grammar in writng and editng their comments.
- Itaiki : This program is mainly used as a way to record and download the lecture or to share it via e-mail. There are ways to improve audio and convert it between electronic devices.
- Wunderlist: This program enables the teacher and the students to open the fields for each subject, with the specified date (Dateline), a list of relevant names and reminders of the dates specified.
What makes the university unique and individual?
Through its close ties with International Federation of Catholic Universities, the CUE will able to provide its students with the experience of a group of world experts and scholars who voluntarily visit the university to meet both the students and teachers with an aim to share them their expertise and experiences they have.
There are abundant opportunities from which students can benefit from during their study or after graduation through making use of the standing partnership between the CUE and the other Catholic universities in Australia, America and Europe.