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28.02.2024 13:45

HfK Bremen establishes the first design study programme in Iraq

Melisa Lemcke Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Hochschule für Künste Bremen

    Despite a long, diverse tradition in art and design, there are hardly any formal study and training programmes in the field of graphic design in Iraq. This is now about to change. As part of the project "Transnational Education - Strengthening and Excellence through Profile Building", the University of the Arts (HfK) Bremen will establish the first design study programme in the country.

    The project is the result of several years of co-operation between the HfK Bremen, the College for Fine Arts in Sulaymaniyah and the Goethe-Institut Irak.

    "The lack of institutionalised education and training opportunities in the field of visual communication in Iraq stands in contrast to a constantly growing creative and cultural sector in the country," said Prof. Samuel Nyholm, Professor of Illustration at the HfK and project manager. Over the next four years, the "Visual Communications" study programme at the College for Fine Arts at Sulaimani University will be developed and designed with the expertise of HfK representatives. "Of course, the experience we gain in Iraq will also be reflected in the study programmes at HfK," said Professor Nyholm.

    As part of a Flying Faculty agreement, lecturers and teaching staff travel from one institution to the other in order to hold temporary courses and establish structures and centres of excellence. The exchange takes place both on site and digitally.
    The new English-language study programme in Iraq is based on a jointly developed curriculum that has already been recognised by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research Iraq. It is set to be trialled, implemented cooperatively into the overall structure of the partner university and adapted if necessary. The focus lies on professionalisation measures, teaching German, the acquisition of intercultural skills and practice-oriented skills development for optimal transferability to the labour market or for further studies.

    During the four-year project phase, the development of skills, transferring specialist knowledge and teaching didactic and technical methods to the target group of students and university lecturers will be the focus of eleven HfK-members. The subject representatives represent the entire spectrum of the required design disciplines in their specialisations and teaching areas.

    The administrative-operational structure is completed by the temporary integration of a central organisational unit of the HfK on site, the efficient expansion of real laboratories, language acquisition as well as practical partnerships and networking. In this way, highly qualified graduates are to be recruited for the national labour market and international students for German universities. The project aims at having a first cohort of around 60 students.

    Cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Irak

    The Goethe-Institut Irak plays a central role in conveying German language skills and other intercultural and labour market-related measures, including an extracurricular Design Academy. The three-week programme, which focuses on illustration, graphic design and typography, has been very popular in recent years and has become an established part of the country's design scene. The link to the study programme will consolidate the programme.

    Anaïs Boelicke, Director of the Goethe-Institut Irak: "We are delighted that after three years of intensive cooperation with the HfK and the College for Fine Arts, we are not only experiencing the implementation of the study programme, but as the Goethe-Institut Irak we can further support the project by continuing the Design Academy in Sulaymaniyah and offering language courses for students."

    Project funding

    The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF – Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD – Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) with 826,000 euros and is initially limited to four years.

    About the University of the Arts Bremen

    Around 1,000 students from over 50 countries, 59 professors, 88 administrative staff and more than 150 lecturers make Bremen University of the Arts a lively place.

    The HfK is a university of apparent contrasts. It is regionally anchored and yet extremely internationally orientated. It extends across various locations in the city, which are very different, from classicist to floating and contemporary. It is both an art and music university. This context, which characterises the university, is of particular quality and forms a framework that enables both collective and individual artistic development to be strengthened.

    The study programme includes Fine Arts, Integrated Design, Digital Media as well as Artistic and Artistic-Pedagogical Education in Music. Since 2020, the HfK has also offered the opportunity to complete a doctorate as part of the artistic-scientific PhD programme, particularly in the focus areas of Integrated Design and Digital Media. Open courses and joint examination supervision as well as workshops, studios and thematic projects specifically promote dialogue and collaboration. With around 400 events a year, the HfK is one of the cultural and social pillars of the city of Bremen.

    The relationship between the members of the university community, their diverse collaborations, the close-knit supervision and the various regional and international collaborations help the students to develop strong individual characters. This ultimately results in work that is highly relevant to society.

    Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

    Prof. Samuel Nyholm
    HfK Bremen, Professor for Illustration

    Dr. Kathrin Gollwitzer-Oh
    HfK Bremen, Head of the Research Promotion and Young Academics Unit
    Tel: +49 421 9595-1028

    Weitere Informationen:


    Professor Samuel Nyholm (centre) in Iraq.
    Professor Samuel Nyholm (centre) in Iraq.

    Goethe-Institut e.V. / Sherko Abdulla

    Merkmale dieser Pressemitteilung:
    Journalisten, Studierende, Wirtschaftsvertreter, Wissenschaftler, jedermann
    Kunst / Design
    Kooperationen, Studium und Lehre



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