Final report of the updated needs analysis

The first step of the project was to conduct an up-to-date needs analysis of the Kurdish Higher Education system, led by Duhok University (WP1 leader) and UNIMED (WP1 co-leader), aimed at identifying gaps and priorities in governance, quality assurance practices and credits recognition for learning mobility.  

First of all, the partners conducted a comprehensive desk research, consisting in reviewing relevant literature and collecting resources on the HE sectors (T1.1) in order to develop a baseline for building the following tasks (T1.2 Identification of existing governance frameworks and best practices through HEIs self-evaluation, and T1.3 Field visits in KRG provinces for the final assessment).  Efforts were also dedicated to explore the national legal framework and provide a legislative background as a reference to the needs assessment. Upon the suggestion of the Kurdish Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and the Partners, a section on international ranking and accreditation was also added to the WP1 Report.

All the Kurdish universities were involved in the desk research divided into 4 working sub-groups, each dedicated to a specific topic:

  • Collection of good practices on governance and Bologna process, performed by Zakho and DPU universities;
  • Collection of secondary sources on the HE system in KRG, performed by Sulaimani and Halabja universities;
  • Study on the international ranking and accreditation in KRG, performed by Garmian and Duhok Universities;
  • Analysis and reporting on the national legal framework in KRG, performed by Salaheddin and Charmo Universities.

The Ministry of HE supported each group in their work, feeding the analysis of the state of the art with the provision of their reform and strategy documents, as well as legislative references.

The second task of WP1 was the self-assessment on university governance. About 8 to 10 people from each of the 8 Kurdish universities (Presidents, VP, head of IRO, heads of QA etc.) participated in the self-assessment by using the Diagnostic Tool that allowed them to identify needs, weakness and limits of their systems, but also priorities and strengths of each university involved in the project.

Due to the difficulties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited the possibilities of travelling to Kurdistan in June 2021 according to the original work plan, the self-assessment exercise was conducted online. All in all, 70 answers were collected during the 8 self-assessment bilateral sessions, scheduled so as to grant to the Kurdish Partners real-time support while filling the online survey on the governance dimensions. At the end, all answers by each institution have been put together to have a comprehensive picture of the governance in each university of the project. Then a comparative analysis was conducted to identify needs and priorities for the HE system in the Kurdistan region of Iraq as a whole.

The calendar of the self-assessment session and the list of the participants for each university is accessible HERE.

The self-diagnostic questionnaire is accessible HERE.

The document developed as a guideline for the process is accessible HERE.

The full Report of the updated needs analysis includes the outcomes of desk research and the self-evaluation results. To read the full document and/or download the Report click HERE.

The third step of the WP1 should have been three field visits in September 2021 in the three Kurdish provinces of Erbil, Sulaymania and Duhok in order to validate the results of WP1. However due to the limitations related to the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing at the time, it was not possible to perform the trips as scheduled. Therefore, the field visits were replaced by in-depth working group sessions with the universities on occasion of the 1st Partnership meeting that was held in Erbil in November 2021. The working groups discussed and validated the results of the self-assessment conducted online in June 2021 and shared an additional set of valuable information on the HE system. The Report of the working groups held in Erbil is available HERE.

Under the WP1, another result was achieved thanks to the dedication and efforts of the European partners of APPRAIS, and the support of the University of Duhok: the University Governance Glossary. The aim of the Glossary is to explain and standardize concepts and terminology related to university governance and quality assurance, to learning mobility and credit recognition as well as to university structures. This document (that has been also translated into Kurdish language) wants to be an instrument for the colleagues at Kurdish Universities in their process of implementation of the Bologna process, and a common reference in the dialogue between Kurdish and European HEIs, staying as a valuable reference even after the end of the project.

The Glossary has been developed in different formats, to be more accessible for users and for different use.

Printable version [EN] HERE.

Printable version [KURDISH] HERE.

Electronic version [EN] HERE

Online interactive Glossary accessible HERE.