Minister directs universities to steer clear of politics

Iraq’s Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Abdul Razzaq al-Issa announced recently that he will not play a “part in any political or electoral agenda” in the upcoming 12 May parliamentary elections and directed all Iraqi universities to keep campuses clear of election campaigns, writes Hamza Mostapha for Asharq Al-Awsat.

“The position the ministry takes is clear from the beginning: it is against involving universities that have a specific academic and scientific identity in politics, including election seasons,” Issa said in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat.

Issa added that the development of institutions of higher education requires fundamental pillars which reflect the identity of academic institutions on scientific, cognitive and cultural premises. “We will take special measures against those who prove their involvement – and here I refer here to some university presidents whom we know to have employed the universities they head as an arena serving political and electoral agendas for candidates from different parties,” Issa warned.
Full report on the Asharq Al-Awsat site