One of the key elements of the Manila meeting was the knowledge exchange capacity of the meeting- particularly for the SUEUAA partners to highlight and discuss the issues facing their city, and also how their University is engaged in the Third Mission to seek to create solutions to these global challenges. The partners were split into two panels: University response to city issues ( African context), and University response to city issues ( Asian context).In the second session, Professor Nematollah Azizi and Mrs Lamiah Hashemi (University of Kurdistan, Iran), and Dr Muir Houston (on behalf of Dr Kamal Ketuly, and Dr Sezar Mohammad, University of Duhok, Iraq) described the city issues affecting their local area.
Professor Nematollah Azizi and Mrs Lamiah Hashemi described the main issues affecting Sanandaj as: environmental (climate change, industrial waste, mismanagement of environmental policy), cultural issues, educational (high illiteracy rate in the country), health (although there has been improvements in terms of life expectancy and infant mortality), economy (unemployment and poverty), and politics. The team provided a summary of how the Higher Education Institutes interact with the city, highlighting both the contradictions between how city representatives and Universities describe collaboration, but also the useful interactions including direct intervention, sharing resources, and lending expertise.
While our partners from University of Duhok could not attend the meeting, they provided a presentation to be delivered to the delegates in Manila. Dr Muir Houston, one of the co-investigators from the University of Glasgow offered to present on their behalf. The presentation detailed a range of issues facing Duhok at present: issues of landmine clearance, reducing pollutants from water sources, and monitoring air pollution. The presentation also gave examples of where the University of Duhok is working together with the city to create solutions to these issues: engineers from UoD and the local government are collaborating to establish the metro network in Duhok City in order to reduce congestion of cars and buses on the road. Also, the Government's department of agriculture and UoD's college of agriculture are working on development of small dams and irrigration projects.