UNESCO and the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned support the enhancement of the Quality of Higher Education Institutions in Iraq
A workshop was held in Doha during 27-28 September to support the higher education system in Iraq and especially quality assurance. The event gathered representatives from UNESCO, Her Highness Office, the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office, Ministries of Education and Scientific Research in Baghdad and Erbil, Iraqi universities, and experts from Qatar, Jordan and Palestine. Mr. Abdullatif Al Shayef (Planning and Programming Director) from Her Highness Office and Mr. Philippe Maalouf from UNESCO Iraq opened the workshop on the first day.
The Assessment and Enhancement of the Quality of Higher Education Institutions in Iraq is one of the main focus points of a wider project to support the rehabilitation of the Iraqi higher education system and funded by the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah.
The Higher Education sector is actually the "throbbing pulse" of a nation, and its quality is the major factor of developing and sustaining its knowledge, competitiveness and prosperity. Regrettably, while important developments in the field of Quality Assurance in higher education were taking place over the past twenty years, Iraq and Iraqis were suffering from successive wars and economic sanctions. Iraq was delayed in the development and enhancement of its higher education system. Iraq is now in need for a well-organized systematic approach to assuring the quality of its higher education institutions. It is necessary also that higher education institutions in Iraq establish a unified understanding of Quality Assurance culture, that adopt internationally renowned standards, which shall in return allow for stronger recognition of Iraqi universities, build on accountability and credibility, and allow for students to successfully pursue further education.
The objective of this first workshop was thus to identify the current status of quality assurance procedures and systems in Iraqi universities and create the proper awareness on the importance of quality assurance systems in higher education. Experts also explored different national and regional experiences in the field of Quality Assurance systems at academic programme level, university institutional level and national accreditation commission level.
Participants finally agreed on a common methodology and main line of actions towards the construction of solid QA systems at both Institutional level and programmes level as well as the reinforcement of the national capacity through training of trainers to ensure ownership and sustainability of the project.
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