This piece of writing is not an attempt to defame AUI-S reputation rather to make it strong and even more receptive. This piece of writing tells why the full accreditation that was given to AUI-S recently is not going to benefit AUI-S students. I am not trying to pour scorn on the foremost and grandstanding achievement of the AUI-S short history nor underestimate the hard work that was done for the sake of the accreditation. I know that AUI-S bent over backwards to g
et this accreditation, and this actions is contemptible that is why we as AUI-S students acknowledge and appreciate everything was done.
It was early morning when I went to one of the labs to check my email; I was surprised by Dr.John Agresto’s happy news about the accreditation. I did not know what accreditation meant because It was my first time that heard the word accreditation. I ran out to find someone to explain to me what accreditations mean. Eventually, I was told that it meant AUI-S is recognized in all over America. And AUI-S students can go to America to study one semester or two and then come back here to continue studying at AUI-S. It sounded perfect, I said wow AUI-S avails its students a life time opportunity.
There is no point of accreditation in Iraq unless we go abroad as transfer or exchange students. Why should AUI-S students be happy about the accreditation while they can’t travel to America because the US embassy does not give them visas? If a program is not sponsored by the US embassy in Baghdad, it will be impossible to get a visa to America. Those AUI-S students who went to America on IYLEP this summer is a different story because the program was sponsored by the embassy itself. Here I am talking about applying to one of the US universities and get a scholarship for one year and go on your own. The first attempt was by Kurdistan, an academic student, who received a scholarship for one year at one of the US universities. She was very happy, but unfortunately she was rejected to get a visa twice in the US embassy in Baghdad. In the embassy, they asked her why would she want to study one semester in America. She told them that she wanted to experience life and see America, and they her that she was rejected because she did not sound convincing. What a stupid reason to reject someone.
The first attempt failed and our dreams of going to study in America died. What else should we expect from the super hero accreditation? It would be unreasonable to think that it is something unique inside Iraq to have accreditation because every university that establishes receive recognition whether by Iraqi or Kurdistan minister of higher education.
I don’t know whether AUI-S has been sidestepping this issue or not. In my perspective, receiving accreditation is not going to make an iota of difference if we are not allowed to go to America. I hope this piece of writing pushes AUI-S to work toward this disappointing issue to make the AUI-S students real happy and to bridge the gap between AUI-S and the other accredited universities.
*Pola Kamal is an International Studies and Political Science Freshman at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani.