Closing Ceremony of Intensive 12-Week Migration Course to UKH Students

May 30, 2023

On Tuesday May 30th 2023, the University of Kurdistan Hewlêr (UKH) hosted a ceremony to mark the end of an intensive 12 weeks course titled “Migration and Displacement from a Psychological Perspective”. This course was delivered in partnership with the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The event was attended by UKH students who took the course. UKH Vice President Professor Dr. Dana Mawlood and USAID Humanitarian Advisor Michael Torreano distributed certificates of participation to the students. Also, Dr. Zana Ibrahim, Dean of UKH School of Social Sciences and Dr. Guglielmo Schinina, Head of IOM MHPSS Global Section and Dr. Yasin Duman, MHPSS Programme Officer – IOM Iraq attended the ceremony.

The course was delivered to UKH students in the School of Social Sciences between February and May 2023.

This course introduced UKH students to the mental health and psychosocial aspects of migration and displacement and their interconnection with integration, social cohesion, protection, return, and resettlement from an interdisciplinary and multidimensional perspective. The course was designed to discuss and tackle a main challenge of this filed: lack of awareness around Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) needs and the low number of certified practitioners in this sector in Iraq.

UKH is glad to have partnered in such an important course which benefits students in social sciences fields not only in their respective careers, but also in their personal life.

During the last 12 weeks, we had renown guest speakers on our campus to deliver lectures, from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Bielefeld University, University of Birmingham, the German Center for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM) and technical officers from the MHPSS, Protection, Legal, and Transitional Recovery teams of IOM in Iraq as well as local organisations working with persons with disabilities) to present scientific papers, evidence- based interventions, and practical experiences from the field.

This interdisciplinary course is integrated into the University’s curriculum as an elective yet credited course to introduce students to psychological, social cohesion, legal, and protection aspects of migration and displacement.

The course aims to promote a comprehensive understanding of the causes and

outcomes of migration and displacement as well as the hardships migrants face before, during, and after their displacement; as well as in the processes of resettlement, return, and reintegration.

The course discusses diverse aspects of health and psychosocial wellbeing in migration and displacement through scientific papers and chapters published in high-index academic journals and international handbooks, and from a theoretical perspective that explains the behaviors of migrants, refugees, IDPs, and local community members, as well as humanitarian responses.