WENR, June 2016: Middle East

Career Services Help Address High Unemployment Among Iraqi Graduates

With an eye toward the 18 percent unemployment rate among Iraqi youth – which soars even higher among youth with a higher education  –  an international non-governmental organization has begun setting up career centers at Iraqi universities. The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) works with 21 universities across Iraq and has 67 staff members. The organization offered employability training to more than 14,000 students across Iraq in 2015. IREX is also leading efforts to create industry advisory boards in Iraqi universities.

Al-Fanar Media
May 31

Iraq Takes a Hardline Approach to Cheating: Blacking Out the Internet

Human-rights groups say that 2016 was the second year that the Iraqi government ordered telecom companies to shut down the Internet in order to prevent cheating on standardized exams. The government of Uzbekistan took similar measures in 2014; and the Indian state of Gujarat did the same this spring. Digital-rights groups have petitioned the United Nations Human Rights Council to pass a resolution condemning Internet blackouts, which are often issued by authoritarian governments seeking to limit free speech. Observers say that internet shutdowns in conflict zones puts citizens at extreme risk, since potentially life-saving information may not be available to during blackouts that go on for hours.

The Atlantic
May 16

China-Israeli University Partnership Signals Israel’s Interest in International Education Market

Chinese businessman and philanthropist Li Ka-shing donated $130 million to fund a new China-based campus of the Technion, or the Israel Institute of Technology. The new Technion campus would be the first Israeli institution of higher education in China. The donation is one of the largest ever donations to any higher education institution in Israel. It comes as Israel seeks to increase its foothold in China and to forge a significant presence in the international education sector.

The Jerusalem Post
May 11

Damascus University Redesigns Degrees to Discourage Document Forgeries

Syria’s oldest and largest university, Damascus University is seeking to crack down on forged credentials among displaced students seeking entry to higher education institutions abroad. Corrupt Damascus University employees are reportedly paid up to USD $2000 to create and deliver unsubstantiated academic records. Diploma forging rings also operate in some Persian Gulf countries and Turkey. To guard against forgery Damascus University has redesigned degrees to include bar codes and laser-3D security stickers, and begun issuing them on higher quality paper stock. It’s unclear how widespread forgeries are, but even limited numbers cast doubt on legitimate applications, say experts, especially when limited scholarship dollars are in play.

Al-Fanar Media
May 2


Posted in Middle East, Regional News Summaries