University sector works to rebuild its reputation

As Iraqis prepare to go to the polls to vote in parliamentary elections 10 years on from the invasion, the country is a lifetime away from where things used to be. Iraq's education system, once one of the best in the Middle East with a series of flourishing universities in the 1960s and 1970s, has suffered dramatically over the past few decades, writes Christopher Hill for The Conversation.

In 2013, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ali al-Adib proposed a plan to build 13 new universities and 28 colleges throughout Iraq, supported by UNESCO, the World Bank and UNICEF. In addition, a five-year scholarship plan launched in 2012 will support up to 10,000 students pursuing graduate degrees internationally.

One key objective facing Iraq with this level of expansion is to reinvigorate its academic reputation. The years of conflict and the aftermath of reconstruction have caused a dramatic impact in terms of resources, access, reputation and output.
Full report on The Conversation site