Texas Tech has signed a collaboration agreement with the Iraqi government to help promote higher education and scientific research.

The agreement is between Tech and Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to pave the way for students and faculty from Iraq to attend Texas Tech.

The agreement includes incentives for doctoral students with high qualifications to complete their degree at Texas Tech and return to Iraqi institutions to improve their curricula in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.

“Iraq is really struggling, and that’s the reason why they’ve set up special funds for education,” said Ron Chesser, director of the Center for Environmental Radiation Studies and one of the coordinators for the agreement. “The country has lost a generation of science and technology training.”

Tech has agreed to pay for four highly qualified doctoral candidates in STEM fields to get a degree at the university. The candidates will also receive a $20,400 stipend in addition to their fees and tuition.

“They will go back to the universities in Iraq and improve the Iraqi curriculum by taking what they’ve learned here and incorporating it into their universities there. It’s more of a technology and educational transfer,” Chesser continued.

Four-week training workshops for Iraqi professors will be paid for by the Iraqi government as well. It will allow them to explore principles of teaching and learning.

Iraq will also pay to help doctoral students already working on their dissertations but in need of technology or analytical tools unavailable in their country to come to Tech for a maximum of six months to finish their degrees.

Iraqi applications to Texas Tech are expected to begin in Spring of 2013, and students will start arriving on campus by fall of 2013.