What is the core mission of AUDK?
AUDK pursues a long-term strategy to fulfill its mission through engaging competent faculty members as well as bright scholars to enhance the quality of education in the Region. AUDK aims to create a peaceful environment where students and the academic community enjoy a sense of freedom in gaining knowledge for the betterment of society. By establishing research centers, AUDK endeavors to have a role in every aspect of people’s lives and help build a healthy and dynamic community. AUDK provides students with a profoundly transformative experience– intellectually, socially, and personally– that will prepare them for a life of service and leadership.

What educational programs will AUDK offer?
AUDK offers undergraduate courses and programs in the areas of Politics and Public Policy, Design and Media Studies, Management and Finance, and Computer Science. The master programs will follow as soon as the required tools are ready. On top of those programs, we have established the English Language Institute (AUDK-ELI) and the Center for Displacement and Migration (AUDK-CDM), which are currently performing in an extraordinary manner. Having American English teachers, AUDK-ELI offers top-level curricula for teaching English at various levels and is open to anyone who desires to learn English, no matter if she/he is a student or an employee. AUDK-CDM is very active in helping internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees as well as the government to set up roadmaps to manage and tackle crises. What distinguishes AUDK from its counterparts is that it offers state-of-the-art majors that are not delivered at any other institution of higher education in the Region. Every program is organized around development, with a clear focus on the process of implementation.

AUDK offers undergraduate courses and programs in the areas of Politics and Public Policy, Design and Media Studies, Management and Finance, and Computer Science.

How do you see the university expanding in the medium term?
AUDK aims to become a leading institution in the Region that, as a center of excellence, will conduct research in various disciplines. It endeavors to introduce research into the community we live in and get people accustomed to the idea that research should not only be conducted for the sake of research, but to promote and develop the quality of life of a society. We plan to establish various centers that will offer activities required to enhance the quality of education and, in return, the quality of life and wellbeing of the people in the Region. We also plan to establish departments and schools encompassing diverse disciplines that will respond to the demands of the market. Career-oriented programs will include the College of Engineering, the College of Medicine, and numerous other centers. AUDK will also pursue accreditation for its programs.

Will it be a challenge to attract international academic talent to Kurdistan?
Despite the current situation on the ground, being a member of faculty at AUDK is appealing. The number of international applicants for administrative, faculty, and staff positions is rapidly increasing. Most candidates have excellent academic records in reputable universities around the globe. All those recruited at AUDK are either Americans or other expats who have rich experiences in academia. Duhok has an interesting and resilient environment, which will make it possible for academics to interact with a multi-cultural society. AUDK will be a gateway into a new environment that is conducive to state-of-the-art research.

How would you assess the contribution that AUDK is making towards the creation of the next generation of leadership in the Kurdistan Region?
The purpose of education at AUDK is not merely to transmit knowledge. Rather, it is to teach the students how to use their knowledge as leaders of society. Unfortunately, many educational institutions in the Kurdistan Region lack comprehensive programs to create leadership skills. They put more emphasis on rote memorization. The programs that AUDK offers will place a conscious and purposeful focus on selecting and producing the next generation of leaders. We will provide an environment for the kind of experiences that enable students to learn what it means to be a leader. AUDK will provide students with a clear vision – a set of original ideas – required to become a leader. We believe that, in the absence of a creative vision, someone can be a manager but not a true leader. At AUDK, we have a vision to fully integrate with society and to be sensitive to its problems, rather than being an isolated ivory tower.