15.03.2011 -

Assuring Quality is Ensuring the Development of Higher Education in Iraq

More than 60 representatives of Iraqi and International universities came together for the first time in Erbil to share experiences and join efforts in assuring quality for higher education in Iraq - an initiative led by UNESCO Iraq Office.

In partnership with the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser, First Lady of Qatar and UNESCO’s Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, a conference was organized in reponse to one of the key challenges in providing higher education to Iraqi students, which lies in assuring quality in Iraqi higher education institutions. The conference took place at Sheraton/Erbil International Hotel during March 1 – 2, 2011.  

The event witnessed the participation of more than seventy-five resource persons, namely Iraqi senior Government officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and both Ministries of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Baghdad and Erbil, in addition to two members of the Iraqi Parliament, namely, Mr. Alaa Makki, Deputy President of Education Committee, and Mr. Abed Al-Ujaili, President of Higher Education Committee. Also remarkable was the attendance of Iraqi Diaspora whose participation was of vital role in providing overview of quality assurance in U.K. and Ireland as well as Australia to feed into discussions of the Quality Assurance system Iraqis wish to have in place.  

Not only local, but also regional and international expertise was sought in order to enrich discussions and help better form the desired and most suitable system of Quality Assurance in Iraq. Such expertise was brought from Jordan, Association of Arab Universities, UK, Ireland, and Canada.  

The variety of resources in this conference enlightened the Iraqi University representatives and provided them with various useful scenarios that could inspire the future work on quality assurance in Iraq, as the conference mainly aimed at raising the awareness of Iraqi officials and University leaders of the importance and substantial role of quality in enhancing the performance of higher education institutions in Iraq.  

The conference allowed a series of significant recommendations  among which the creation of a specific follow-up committee to spur and support the quality assurance work of higher institutions on academic program and institutional management. The conference also gave University professors and senior officials from all the Iraqi governorates the valuable opportunity to meet and work together as a team for the ultimate objective of developing the higher education system in Iraq.  

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Semia Ben Ali Saadaoui, Higher Education Specialist, UNESCO Iraq,

E-mail: s.saadaoui@unesco.org, mobile: +962775454702



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