ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Higher Education on Wednesday announced rankings of the Region’s universities across eight categories. University of Kurdistan-Hewler (UKH) and the University of Human Development (UHD) in Qaradagh dominated the charts.
The ranking separately evaluated public and private institutions.
UKH topped the lists for public institutions in the fields of "scientific research, international activities, library and access to academic sources, and outreach to alumni and obtaining jobs,” according to Minister Yousif Goran.
The school located in Erbil offers studies at the undergraduate and graduate level in science and engineering, social sciences, medical science, and business – all in the English language.
It also secured the second and third places in "student satisfaction and staff-to-student ratio.”
“We are proud that we rank the top university in the entire Kurdistan Region,” said Vice-Chancellor Mohammed Mochtar, according to a statement from the school.
“UKH is committed to academic excellence. The results announced today are the fruit of the UKH’s commitment to the highest standards of the higher education,” he added.
Sherwan Kafour, who heads up the university’s quality and accreditation department, said their performance in the ranking is due to reforms “in line with the international standards."
Topping the ranking for private universities is the University of Human Development (UHD) in Qaradagh, 160 kilometres southeast of Erbil. Its founder, Ali Qaradaghi, is the head of the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned International Union of Islamic Scholars.
UHD got top marks in five out of the eight categories: “scientific research, international activities, quality insurance, cultural activities and social relations, library and access to scientific sources.”
President of the university, Mariwan Ahmed Rashed, congratulated Ali Qaradaghi, students, faculty, and staff.
"Through the efforts of everyone, the university today managed to be at the top,” he said, pointing out that they also ranked in all eight categories.
Qaradaghi from the beginning insisted the university be one that "rendered services to science and academics," said Rashed.
UHD is "non-profit," he added, explaining that revenues go into funding research, international activities, and academic endeavours.
Ranking the universities took years to finish, the minister said.
"In the beginning many thought due to the cultural, economic, and political situation of Kurdistan, we would fail to prepare such a project. But fortunately, with the help of some international organizations and institutions, we did it,” said Minister Goran.
The purpose of the ranking is to foster competition between universities in the Kurdistan Region “on the basis of scientific standards and measures,” he said.