The University of Iowa and 20 other U.S. Universities will be part of an effort to educate 10,000 Iraqi students over the next five years. Scott King, Director of the Office of International Students and Scholars at U-I, recently traveled to Iraq to learn about the effort.

"We expect many of them will have very little knowledge of the outside world," King said. "Somebody said, quite bluntly, these students may have seen their friend shot. There may be special counseling needed." Under the Iraqi Education Initiative, the Iraqi government plans to fund full scholarships for students to attend Universities and colleges in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia. King says he’s planning for the special needs of students coming from a war-zone.

"We’ve already, for example, linked up with the U-I Veterans Office. We have many Iraq War veterans who would possibly be interested in sharing their experiences with these students, so we’re looking at that as a possibility in the future," King said. The Iraqi Education Initiative will start with a pilot program, involving just 400 students, this Fall.

King says Iraq is also interested in partnering with U.S. Universities to help rebuild its higher education system. King made his comments on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk at Twelve program.