Iraqi academics are desperate for access to modern approaches to learning and teaching. Here’s where the UK can step in
Four decades of wars, sanctions, dictatorship, invasion and instability have seen Iraq slide into a 21st-century dystopia. Once the “cradle of civilisation”, it now lurches between chaos and catastrophe. Most recently, citizens in the south have been railing against state failures in sometimes violent protests. If provision of basic services such as portable water and electricity is unreliable, what hope is there for higher education?
A number of Iraqi academics, students and professionals say they urgently need modernised materials and methods for learning and teaching. Equally, many Iraqi academics worry about political interference in the sector, regarding it as a further barrier to development. This is because services such as public higher education are administered by government and subject to the unpopular muhasasa, or patronage system, which is susceptible to corruption and thus limits capacity for reform.
Fran Sutherland is a PhD student at the University of Sheffield