Dr. Yusuf Goran, the KRG Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, said that despite the bad economic and security situations that faced the Kurdistan Region, but we did not let the process of development as well as education quality to linger, accordingly we could accomplish many projects, and many other projects are put into the implementation stage.
This statement by Dr. Yusuf Goran came during a press conference on Wednesday August 12, 2015 in the ministry’s divan in Erbil.
Opening the press conference, Dr. Yusuf Goran said: “This year for the first time, we managed to make the project of National Ranking of Kurdistan Region Universities into an advanced stage in terms of implementation. Currently, the universities are busy with the preparation and data-collection process for the project. Meanwhile, an advanced system has been prepared for the implementation. We will announce the National Ranking of Kurdistan Region Universities by late September. This project is a scientific evaluation of Kurdistan Region Universities and classifying them; it will create a competition among the universities and finally the universities will be better acquainted with the international scientific standards, accordingly they will be better known within the international academic map. This is another service to Kurdistan region universities, which will accordingly affect furthering the different sectors of the society.”
He also shed light on their accomplishments in the aspect of higher education and scientific research, and said: “We made special importance to the research centers; accordingly we could put into practice the project of establishing the Council of Scientific Research. This is a national council tasked with setting plans, general policy and strategy about the scientific research, as well as promoting, urging, and activating activities regarding scientific research on different sectors. We have been able to further the scientific research centers of our universities and increase their number from 11 centers to 41 in all institutions of the KRG Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Fortunately, these centers are also including the private sector universities, and some of these universities have allocated a ratio of %15-20 from their budget to the research centers” he added.
The Resumption of Local Doctoral Study
“Local Doctoral Study was stopped since nearly five years. But fortunately after redesigning the new system of local Doctoral Study, in a way that the process of education courses and scientific research will be in the direction of promoting the standards, quality and active participation in producing real knowledge, we could resume the doctoral study in all universities over the region. Today, we will announce more than (673) seats of PhD with high-quality in different specializations in Kurdistan region universities.
Dr. Yusuf Goran: “A supreme committee within our ministry is now reviewing the instructions of higher education / Master Degree, accordingly in resuming this program the quality of education will be taken into consideration.”
“Last year we made several new steps in the process of admitting the largest number of students into the universities; in a way we tried to preserve the quality of education, and the infrastructure of education in the region. As per students from the Kurdistani areas outside the Kurdistan region, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has admitted 500 students, including students from Kirkuk, Qhanaqin to study in Kurdistan region universities. Meanwhile, we could accept 1186 students from universities in the middle and southern parts of Iraq to study in Kurdistan region universities. This process will continue for the new academic year.
He also said: “We have opened the Institute of Academic Development in the Ministry’s Divan for promoting the academic capabilities and leadership. Through this institute we are trying to enhance the performance of lectures as well as reinforcing the administrative and humanitarian skills of the ministry’s employees.”
“The Bologna Process is a key process for developing the universities, therefore, more than 50 countries have entered this process and the number is increasing. Our efforts to enter this process have reached an advanced stage through cooperation with several higher education institutions and universities in many European countries. We also managed to hold many meetings, seminars on this project and a number of Kurdistan region universities have made serious efforts to enter the process.”
In the press conference, Dr. Yusuf Goran also said: “Fortunately, This year with cooperation the US general consulate in Erbil, IREKS organization and with the assistance of the office of the KRG Deputy Premier, Qubad Talabani, we established job centers in the universities as an attempt for dealing with unemployment and finding job opportunities for graduates.
Mr. Goran appreciated the cooperation of the presidency of the KRG Council of Ministers and Mr. Qubad Talabani for succeeding this project.
Regarding the opening of new departments in the Kurdistan region Universities, Mr. Goran said: “In the current academic year, Aiming at filling the market’s needs and utilizing from the local capabilities, we could open 38 new scientific departments in the Kurdistan Region’s public universities. These departments include two departments which will be opened for the first time in the areas outside the Kurdistan region administration. The two new departments, which are (General Administration and Accountancy), are based in Qarahanjir and they related to Charmu University. The purpose of opening these two new departments is providing education opportunities for those students who finish the twelfth preparatory class in Kurdistani areas outside the Kurdistan region’s administration.”
Regarding the education costs in the Kurdistan region’s private universities, the KRG minister said that they addressed formal documents to those universities not to increase the education and tuition fees and costs, and that they take the current financial condition of the region into consideration. He indicated that the private universities positively responded to his call.
He also indicated that the KRG Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research has opened an office in Kirkuk for developing the higher education in the areas outside the Kurdistan Region.
Regarding the Human Capacity Development Program in Higher Education (HCDP), Dr. Yusuf Goran said: “Despite the bad financial and economic conditions that are facing the region, we could cash the amount of $31, 600000 million for the candidates of HCDP who are studying abroad. Our efforts are continuing that to pay another amount of money for the candidates of HCDP in the near future.
Regarding the equalization of academic certificates, Dr. Yusuf Goran said: “After many efforts, we in the KRG Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research could announce instructions for the process of equalization of academic certificates that will be implemented fromSeptember 1st, 2015 and thereafter.”
“In the few coming days, the KRG Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research will announce the list of trusted foreign universities by the ministry for purposes of the KRG sponsored Human Capacity Development Program in Higher Education (HCDP) scholarship program, all other studying programs abroad, and equalization of academic certificates. The preparation of this list is based upon scientific standards and criterions. We also took advantage from the international and national rankings of world universities in preparing the list,” he stressed.
Finally, Dr. Yusuf Goran said: “After continuous efforts by us, for establishing graduates of the Human Capacity Development Program in Higher Education (HCDP), as well as the top three graduates from the Kurdistan Region universities, the KRG Premier agreed to establish those students in the KRG ministries. We thank the KRG ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, and the Presidency of the KRG who cooperated with us in establishing those graduates.