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About the QA Project

Introducing Quality Assurance to Higher education Institutions in Iraq 

UNESCO started implementing RIHES project since 2010 to provide the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research with technical support and capacity building to effectively ensure access to quality higher education.  In February 2011, a Quality Assurance pilot project has been initiated with 12 colleges of engineering in 12 Iraqi universities, including eight in the federal government (Universities of Baghdad, Technology, Mustansiriyah, Basra, Mosul, Wasit, Kufa, and Al-Anbar), and four in Kurdistan (Universities of Salahaddin, Sulimani, Koya, and Dohuk). This group of 12 universities constitutes the Phase 1 of the QA project and took 2 years in which the colleges applied a well-structured process consisting of training the Qa committes on QA modalities, undertaking the self-assessment of the colleges, writing the SAR report, followed by a site visit by UNESCO external reviewers, planning for quality improvements,and implementing continuous improvements. In view of the success of the Phase 1, UNESCO expanded the project to Phase 2 involving 12 new universities : Nahrein, Babil, Qadissiya, Missan, Tikrit, Thi Qar, Kerkuk, Kerbala, Muthanna, Diyala, in the Centre and the universities of Polytechnics in Erbil and Sulaimani.

Overall, the quality assurance project aims at:

  • Improving the standards of quality of the academic performance in the higher education institutions and establishing a quality assurance process to be generalized on all HEIs;
  • Establishing an Iraqi National Quality Assurance body charged with the assessment of the curricula of the national universities and their standards of delivery.
  • Developing a quality culture to support and sustain the quality assurance process established and improve the academics’ performance.
  • Developing a framework for national quality assurance and accreditation to empower the higher education sector to permanently assess the quality of curricula at the national universities and allow joint degree development with universities abroad as well as joint research and academic activities.


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