Post Conflict Educational Support: The Cambridge Colleges Hospitality Scheme
In 2005 the MBI Al Jaber Foundation supported the Cambridge Colleges Hospitality Scheme in a joint venture with the British Council. The Scheme is part of a wider long-term programme started in 1981 to offer facilities to embattled academics (at that time in Central Europe).
The scheme was widened to Basra University, Iraq, in 2004 and to Mosul and Baghdad in 2005. It is based in Cambridge, where Colleges offer free board, lodging and logistical support and academics offer their help as mentors.
This year the scheme benefitted from a further grant from the MBI Al Jaber Foundation to pay for additional travel costs, associated with widening links to other UK educational institutions. These funds will assist academics who, for political and economic reasons, have been unable to access academic and research contacts, up-to-date literature, and other materials in the course of their studies.
Outcomes will include changes in teaching materials and methods in Iraq which will have an impact on research training and research programmes. It is also hoped to develop the possibility of post-doctoral visits and exchanges between the Iraqi institutions and Cambridge (and other HE institutions in the UK). In addition, Cambridge University and the Economics department at Keele, have been collecting redundant books, periodicals and equipment which they now know can be of use to their Iraqi colleagues - restocking looted facilities.