Within the framework of Iraq’s National Development Strategy (2018-2022), Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR) is taking a leading role to achieve the following strategic development objectives related to Education: Cooperating with regional and international organizations; establishing a partnership with the private sector; quality assurance and accreditation; developing and institutionalizing education programmes; and pushing for legislation in the Higher Education field.
In June 2019, the Under-Secretary of MoHESR in Iraq, Dr. Hamid Khalaf, made a request for UNESCO’s support for the Higher Education Quality Assurance (QA) system in Iraq and wished to consult with the Programme Specialist of Higher Education at UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States.
As a response to MoHESR request, UNESCO Beirut and UNESCO Iraq offices organized a Higher Education workshop on 20-21 August 2019 at the premises of MoHESR in Bagdad. The workshop gathered UNESCO Iraq Director, the Education sector team at UNESCO Iraq, UNESCO Beirut’s Programme Specialist for Higher Education Dr Anasse Bouhlal, and the Under-Secretary of MoHESR. University rectors and advisors also took part in the event. The workshop aimed at sharing with the participants the procedures of internal and external QA systems in the Higher Education sector, and at defining a clear roadmap and activity plan for long-term cooperation between MoHESR and UNESCO in the field of Higher Education.
In particular, MoHESR requested UNESCO’s support in the following areas: the development of internal and external QA for Iraqi universities; the establishment of a National Information Center for the Recognition of Higher Education Diplomas and Certificates; assistance of Iraqi universities in achieving SDGs, in particular SDG4.
UNESCO Beirut and UNESCO Iraq will work closely with MoHESR to ensure that the objectives of Iraq’s National Development Strategy in the area of Higher Education are fully met.