Mosul province calls on Baghdad to fund university restoration

Once one of Iraq’s most prestigious academic institutions, the University of Mosul was left in ruins by the long battle to liberate the city from the Islamic State group (ISIS). Now the provincial authority is calling on Baghdad to help fund its restoration.

ISIS militants destroyed the economic infrastructure of Mosul and oppressed its people for three grueling years. The university became an ISIS barracks, while the education system was refashioned to suit the demands of its so-called caliphate.

Almost two years on from the city’s liberation by Iraqi security forces, backed by intense US-led coalition airpower, huge areas of Mosul still lie in ruins. The once great university is in dire need of restoration.

“Seventy percent of the infrastructure of the University of Mosul has been destroyed,” Ubai Dewachi, chancellor of the university, told Rudaw. “All four libraries and 125 laboratories have been destroyed.”

Some progress has been made, however, with initial support from the federal government and UN agencies.

“Despite its limited capacities, the university has resumed,” said Dewachi.

“The council of ministers and organizations especially UNDP have assisted the university. The university has resumed work properly for two years now. Life has returned to the university. It enrolled 9,000 students this year. This is while the university can ordinarily take just 4,000 students.”

Limited space and resources means much more still needs to be done, however.

“The university needs support in order to rebuild its ruined infrastructure,” Abdul-Karim Al-Tilushi, head of relations and media at Mosul University, told Rudaw.

“There are many departments working in other buildings. It has very difficult problems.”

Students are optimistic their university will flourish once more – if help is delivered.

“Three years after the closure of the university, we are sophomores now. Normal living conditions have returned, thank God. I hope it gets even better,” said Adnan Amir, a university student.

“We call on the government and other relevant parties to restore services to the university and rebuild the right side,” he added.

The University of Mosul was established in 1967 and grew to host 23 colleges. At its height the university employed more than 4,000 teachers and taught 30,000 students. Source