UNESCO partners with Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to improve employment opportunities for young Iraqi graduates [EN/AR]

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Baghdad, 21 February 2017 – Starting from 19 February, UNESCO conducted a three-day workshop on professional integration of graduates from higher education institutions in Iraq. The workshop, held in Baghdad, brought together 35 senior representatives from the Ministry, as well as from the country's main technical and academic universities.

The workshop addressed key challenges facing higher education in Iraq in providing students with skills, competences and information relevant for their future professional integration. “The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research considers this initiative of paramount importance towards reforming higher education in Iraq, including technical education,” said Dr. Abdul Razaq Alesa, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, at the opening of the workshop.

“Linking the higher education system to the labor market in Iraq is central to address youth unemployment and support the country's economic development," said Dr. Abdul Karim Wasfi, Chairman of the Prime Minister's Advisory Council during his welcoming speech at the opening of the workshop.

National and international experiences were represented and extensively discussed during the workshop, including the critical role played by career development centers, in strengthening dialogue and interaction between higher education institutions and employers. “Establishing Professional Integration Units within the Ministry, in addition to Career Development Centers at the universities and technical universities, represent a major step forward in the modernization of the Iraqi education sector, and beyond for the economic and social development of Iraq” said Mrs. Louise Haxthausen, Director of the UNESCO office for Iraq, adding that “such an approach is crucial to address unemployment and ensure professional and social integration of thousands of young people in Iraq”.

The workshop is a contribution to the Iraqi Public Sector Modernization Programme, jointly implemented by the United Nations in Iraq.

For more information, contact: Mr. Dhea Subhee, Public Information Officer, UNESCO Office for Iraq Tel.: +964 078 2783 2739; Email: