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Department of Spatial Planning

TU Dortmund and Dohuk University extend partnership by five years

The TU Dortmund University and the University of Dohuk, Iraq, have extended their partnership for another five years until 2021. The framework for this was a visit of the university management from Dohuk to the TU Dortmund. The Mayor of Dortmund, Ullrich Sierau, who himself studied spatial planning, accompanied the signing of the contract.

Menschen am Tisch © Oliver Schaper​/​TU Dortmund
Menschen am Tisch © Oliver Schaper​/​TU Dortmund

Despite the armed conflicts in Iraq, TU Dortmund University and its partner university in Dohuk have been working closely together for more than ten years. Since 2012, one focus has been on the Faculty of Spatial Planning. Students from Iraq take part in courses taught by Dortmund's spatial planners - in some cases via live video chat; groups of students from Dohuk, which is located in the Kurdish region of Iraq, regularly come to Dortmund for research and study. In these months, the first students are successfully completing their studies.

Connections to Iraq since the 1990s

Even in the days of Günter Samtlebe, Lord Mayor of the City of Dortmund until 1999, there were connections between the city and the Kurdish region in the north of Iraq. Dr Hasan Sinemillioglu reports that up to 15,000 people who had lost their homes due to fighting in Mesopotamia were helped to resettle. He had fled from Turkey to Germany, then helped his compatriots and began a career in the Department of Spatial Planning at the TU Dortmund University. "Urban and spatial planning was unknown in Iraq until then," he reports. With the support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), a general cooperation between universities in Iraq and TU Dortmund then resulted in the degree programme in spatial planning, which was established at the University of Dohuk and carried out with a lot of support from Dortmund. The first phase to establish the study programme in spatial planning for Iraq was limited from 2012 until the end of this year. On Tuesday, the extension was officially notarised.

Dortmund's Lord Mayor Ullrich Sierau stands behind the cooperation. "It is good to see that despite all the tensions in the world, the cooperation lives on," he says. "It is to be hoped that a peaceful situation in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, will quickly enable the reconstruction of the destroyed villages, cities and living spaces with the help of the freshly trained spatial planners."

Dohuk University has over 18,500 students

The University of Dohuk was founded in 1992 and currently has about 18,000 Bachelor's and 600 Master's students. These attend 17 colleges, with subjects including medicine, law, economics and education, agriculture, engineering with architecture, civil engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering and spatial planning.

Homepage of the University of Dohuk

Photo: The signing ceremony was attended by Lord Mayor Ullrich Sierau (back, 2nd from right), Prof. Mosleh Duhoky, Rector of Dohuk University (seated left), Prof. Metin Tolan (Prorector of TU Dortmund University, seated), Dr. Hasan Sinemillioglu (back left) and Prof. Dietwald Gruehn, both from the Faculty of Spatial Planning, as well as Prof. Nazar Numan (Dean of Dohuk University/right).