New local ranking does not go far enough, say educators

Six months after Iraq launched a national ranking of higher education institutions, academics are generally positive about the experiment but say the country must do more to help its universities advance, writes Tarek Abd El-Galil for Al-Fanar Media.

The Iraqi University Ranking Guide was approved in 2016, but the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research did not put it into force until March of this year. Ahmed Al Jaafari, director of the Quality Assurance Department at the ministry, said the classification was based on two main indicators that measure academic quality and institutional performance. Those two indicators entail the evaluation of numerous sub-criteria, including quality control, programme accreditation, scientific research output, the percentage of employed graduates, the institution’s international ranking, community service, and other measures.

Hamza Almamori, a professor of architectural engineering at the University of Babylon, said the national ranking was a step toward determining where universities must improve to advance. “However, this is not enough,” he said. “There must be comprehensive work following an integrated plan for the advancement of Iraqi universities.”
Full report on the Al-Fanar Media site