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Higher Education

Higher education is provided by public and private universities, private colleges, and the 28 institutes operating under the auspices of the Commission of the Technical Institutes. Universities are legal entities in their own right and are controlled by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research; an internal administrative council also administers each university. Apart from the private colleges, institutions are financed by the state.

A four-year undergraduate phase follows secondary school, after which is added a tertiary phase for those wishing to pursue the Master's or doctoral degree. Most Bachelor's degrees are conferred after four years of study, while in architecture, dentistry, and pharmacy, the Bachelor's is earned after five years. In medicine, the duration of study is six years. The Master's degree requires one year of matriculation and one year of research. The Doctorate is conferred after a further three years' study beyond the Master's degree, with one year of coursework and two years of thesis preparation. Higher Diplomas are mainly conferred in medical fields and admission is based on a Bachelor's degree in the same field. A minimum 65 percent grade average is required. Some specialized institutes offer a two-year, Postgraduate Higher Diploma.

Major universities in Iraq include the University of Baghdad, the University of Mosul, the University of Basrah, the University of Mustansiriyah and Salahaddin University, all of which grant the Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D. degrees. Salahaddin University, formerly the University of Sulaymaniyya (founded in 1968) was established in the academic year 1982-1983. It is the largest of the three universities in the Kurdish Autonomous Area, situated in the provincial capital town of Arbil.

In view of the economic sanctions and the concomitant state of financial resources in Iraq, a doctoral degree may now require eight years of study, rather than the usual three beyond the Master's degree. Iraq's professors and intellectuals have complained of being isolated from the international academic community since the embargo took effect in 1990; they are not invited to participate in international conferences, and their requests for research materials are denied. Academic materials as well as computers and other technology are banned under the trade embargo. Humanitarian supplies are slow to arrive and insufficient to meet the needs of the country.

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Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceIraq - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education