Students from Soran University attend a graduation ceremony. Photo: Soran University
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Iraqi government has recognized and accredited all public universities in the Kurdistan Region, according to a statement from the KRG’s higher education ministry.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s minister for higher education met with his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad on July 18.
In the meeting, Dr Abdulrazaq Abduljalil Hisi, the Iraqi minister of higher education, said his ministry recognizes all the state universities in the Kurdistan Region. The ministry made its decision without having sent an auditing committee to inspect the universities.
“Without sending any committees to these universities, we recognize them directly and will deal with them just like other universities,” Hisi said.
The universities of Zakho, Soran, Garmian, Raparin, Halabja, UKH, and the Medical Board, will no longer have accreditation problems in Baghdad.
In turn, the KRG has agreed to recognize private universities operating in disputed areas.
“Today is historic because we will be supervising the development of higher education throughout Iraq together,” Hisi said in the meeting.
Dr Yusif Goran, the KRG minister of higher education, said: “The universities should get outside the local and regional box and reach international standards.”
In the meeting, a decision was also made for the Iraqi and Kurdish ministries of higher education to dedicate a number of bachelor seats in Iraqi and Kurdish universities every year as an exchange program.
Hisi also showed his ministry’s readiness to establish the KRG’s higher education representation office in the cultural representation office in Iraqi embassies abroad.
In an attempt to develop Kurdish language and literature programs in Iraqi universities, Goran decided to dedicate five MA and two PhD scholarship programs to the Iraqi ministry of higher education’s Kurdish departments.
In the meeting, a decision was made to form a joint committee to establish a council for quality assurance and accreditation. The Iraqi and Kurdish counterparts also signed a memorandum of understanding in academic matters.