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India, Iran or Turkey: Iraqi students look abroad for post-grad studies

Stiff competition for a very limited number of seats at public universities and high fees at private institutions are pushing Iraqi students to pursue post-graduate studies abroad.
Iraqi students take an English language exam at a bookstore in Kirkuk, Iraq, July 24, 2018, Picture taken July 24, 2018. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed - RC1F5E5EA660
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BAGHDAD — There are no easy options for Iraqi graduates who want to continue their education with post-graduate studies. If they have good grades, they may try to obtain one of the few free spots at a public university in the country. If their grades are not good enough to take that path, they could try to find a private university in Iraq to attend or opt to study abroad, which could be cheaper. Given this situation, a growing number of post-graduate students are choosing to leave Iraq, bound for neighboring countries or India, where numerous post-graduate programs are taught in English.

“I am studying English literature at the Osmania University in the Indian city of Hyderabad, which is recognized by the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research,” Maytham Abdel Rizk, a master’s degree student who left Iraq in 2016, told Al-Monitor. “I chose India because they speak English there, and it is easy to communicate with people. I study there at my own expense. The annual tuition fee at Osmania University is $1,000, and the university has a good ranking, and it is organized, unlike most universities in Iraq.”

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