A link between Iraqi university and UW-Madison is closer to reality. Wisconsin officials participated in a recent teleconference with officials affiliated with Tikrit University. Dean of UW's Division of International Studies Gilles Bousquet says the Iraqis are highly interested in drawing from their resources including the study of agriculture, engineering and health. Bousquet says UW has an "international reputation" in those fields.
Bousquet says there is strong support from both the US and Iraqi governments in rebuilding education in the war torn country but there are some bureaucratic hurdles and infrastructure challenges to clear first.
UW-Madison would assist Iraqi educators via technology like digital and video conferences. However, any type of study abroad with Wisconsin students or faculty traveling to Iraq would be far into the future, says the dean.
Tikrit University is one of the country's largest universities in Iraq with about 12,000 students. It's located about 100 miles north of Baghdad.