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Since 2003 the country has pledged to reform its system of higher education, but the process is especially difficult because many university campuses were damaged from looting and fighting.

Country Overview

Iraq, astride the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, is one of the cradles of human civilization. It was part of the Ottoman Empire, came under British control after World War I, and gained independence in 1932. In recent years its once wealthy, oil-dependent economy has been devastated by a lengthy war with Iran, the Persian Gulf war, subsequent international sanctions, and widespread sabotage and violence following the U.S.-led invasion, in 2003. Today the elected constitutional government is trying to revive the economy and hold the country together, while outside forces compete for influence.

Climate

Iraq experiences its wet season from winter through early spring, with hot, dry summers. Temperatures frequently exceed 100F during late spring and summer afternoons, and will often remain above 80F overnight during the summer. Dew points and humidities are usually quite low, except at times in areas closer to the Persian Gulf where moisture content of the air is greater, and summer heat indices can be extremely high.

Iraq experiences some extremes in climate, but winters are usually rather mild with nightime temperatures often remaining above freezing. Its wet season runs from winter through early spring, but with annual precipitation averaging less than 5 inches in driest desert areas, and most of the country having less than 10 inches of precipitation per year. In Baghdad, temperatures range from an average July maximum of 110F to an average January minimum of 38F. In much of the country, temperatures frequently exceed 100F during late spring and summer afternoons, and will often remain above 80F overnight during the summer. Dew points and humidities are usually quite low, except at times in areas closer to the Persian Gulf where moisture content of the air is greater. In these areas the summer heat index can be extremely high--over 120F.

GDP

$103,900,000,000

Population

28,945,657

Overview of Higher Education

Since 2003 the country has pledged to reform its system of higher education, but the process is especially difficult because many university campuses were damaged from looting and fighting, and all are underfinanced. Moreover, many academics have fled the country or been killed. Many students, too, have stopped going to classes because of worries over security.

Iraq has 20 universities and other postsecondary institutions. The primary undergraduate degree is the bachelor’s, and the first postgraduate degree is the master’s. A doctorate may be pursued upon completion of a master’s.
 
In 2003 some 240,000 undergraduates were enrolled in 65 institutions of higher education. Since then the number has fallen considerably. 
 
(Sources: BBC, The Europa World of Learning)

Number of Colleges, Universities, Technical Institutes

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (total): 45

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (private/non-state): 20

Number of Higher Education Students

Number of students enrolled: 425,000

Contact Information

Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research 

Web site: http://www.moheiraq.org/

Email: higherdep@mohesr.gov.iq

Contact: Dr. Abid Thyab Al Ajeeli,  Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research