The higher education system in Iraq and its future
In general, the higher education system in Iraq was faced with a major challenge, which was represented by the insistence of the different regimes to control the education system. However, the official interference was not always harmful to education in general and higher education in particular. For example, in 1968, the government approved a law requiring the free and compulsory education at all levels, and in 1977, it passed the law for the eradication of illiteracy. UNESCO duly presented Iraq with the prize of the year for eradicating illiteracy in 1982 (Ranjan and Jain 2009). Also, between 1970 and 1980, the regime took a very positive step by sending thousands of students abroad to study for higher degrees. By the end of the decade Iraqi higher education was self-sufficient in all fields of knowledge.
The aim of this essay is to show how the education system has been neglected since 2003 till the present. The article will try to discuss the reality of the higher education system, compare it to the past and look at its future, by examining the main challenges that male and female academics faced during the occupation and the domination of religious-conservative movements in the post-occupation government. The authors’ experience as former members of Baghdad University staff has been the main source for this essay.
Keywords: Iraqi universities under sanctions and occupation; Iraqi women academic; assassination of Iraqi academics; de-Baathification effects on higher education; domination of conservative parties and education; higher education in Iraq
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of London
Publication date: March 1, 2014
- The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies is a new peer-reviewed, tri- annual, academic publication devoted to the study of modern Iraq. In recognition of Iraq's increasingly important position on the world stage, the time is right for a new journal dedicated to scholarly engagement with the country.
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