CyI offers climate, culture scholarships to Iraqi students

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The Cyprus Institute will offer five full scholarships to postgraduate students from Iraq in 2024, and a further five partial scholarships, allowing them to pursue quality education and research in Europe, enhancing human capital development in Iraq and the broader Middle East region.

The Institute’s President, Prof. Stavros Malas, announced the scholarships during the visit of Iraq’s President Dr. Abdul Latif Jamal Rashid, who was given a tour of the premises in Athalassa and viewed ongoing projects related to climate research and protection of cultural heritage.

Prof. Malas highlighted the Cyprus Institute’s commitment to fostering international cooperation and supporting initiatives that promote Iraq’s well-being and development.

He said the five full tuition scholarships are for Ph.D. programmes in computational sciences, energy, environment and atmospheric sciences, and science and technology in archaeology and cultural heritage. A further five scholarships will be offered at a 50% discount for Master’s programmes in simulation and data science, environmental sciences, and digital cultural heritage.

President Rashid, expressed his gratitude to the Cyprus Institute for granting scholarships, stating that Iraq, after a long period of wars with neighbouring countries and internal conflicts, has realised that confrontations not only do not contribute to the well-being of its citizens, but have also hindered the progress of science and society.

“The advancement of science, beyond progress, requires alliances to address significant challenges such as climate change. I call on the countries of the Gulf to unite in a joint effort to mitigate its impact,” he said.

Rashid said Iraq is particularly sensitive to issues related to water resource management and agriculture.

Regional group

In its national statement at this year’s COP28 summit in Dubai, the Iraqi President pledged to accelerate efforts in completing national plans for climate change adaptation and mitigation, urging Gulf States, including Iran, to form a regional group to enhance negotiating power in climate change discussions.

On that note, the critical role of The Cyprus Institute as a regional hub of science and innovation to address climate challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region was also underlined during COP28 in Dubai.

During his delivery of Cyprus’ National Statement at the COP28 Summit, President Nikos Christodoulides announced the next steps for the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Climate Change Initiative (EMME-CCI).

The EMME-CCI was initiated by Cyprus in 2019 and coordination of its scientific component and interim secretariat have been assigned to, and led by, the Cyprus Institute.

On Monday, President Rashid visited the University of Cyprus where he extended an invitation to a university delegation to visit Iraq, which the Rector, Tasos Christofides, accepted.

Rashid noted that exchanges of academics by the two countries can contribute to build cooperation. He underlined the importance of the tasks of academics and universities, especially in dealing with global challenges, such as the rapidly increasing population and climate challenge.