After the years of conscious negligence from the side of the central government in Baghdad and military unrest education in Kurdistan is experiencing dynamic development. In the years 2006-2013 the Kurdistan Regional Government has invested in the development of the education sector $ 668 million. The result is a fast and apparently limiting of rate of illiteracy. In 2008, it reached 23% and in 2015 it is estimated to drop to 7%. In total in 2012, 1,65 million students were attending schools.
25 universities (14 public, 11 private) are currently operating in the Kurdistan Region. In 2013 they were attended by 115 thousand students. The largest and oldest of the Kurdish universities is the Salahaddin University, founded in 1968 in Suleimania and moved to Erbil in 1981. The next largest universities include University of Suleiman, the University of Dohuk and Soran University. In 2010, four universities were founded in Kurdistan Region (University of Halabja, the University of Raparin, the University of Garmian, the University of Zakho). The youngest of the Kurdish universities (University of Charmoo) was officially opened in November the 6th, 2014.
Currently, the educational offer in Kurdistan Region is wide and varied. They work both general profile of the university, as well as medical or technical. University of Kurdistan in Erbil and the American University of Iraq in Suleiman’s leading science in English.
Kurdish – Polish scientific cooperation
For many years the Kurdish Polish scientific cooperation has been successfully developing. In 2004, three Iraqi Kurdistan universities: Salahaddin, Sulejmani and Dohuk signed an agreement on cooperation and scientific exchange with the Jagiellonian University. In 2007 the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan signed a similar agreement with the University of Salahaddin and Sulejmani. Currently, 21 Polish universities are inscribed on the UNESCO Human Capacity Development Programme (HCDP) conducted by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Kurdistan Regional Government. This means that the Kurdish authorities recommend their students to study at these universities and endow scholarship programs.
The largest student organization in Kurdistan – Kurdistan Students Union (KSU) has agreements on cooperation with students associations of Jagiellonian University, University of Science and Technology, Cracow University of Technology and the Polish Student Parliament. Every year study visits between KSU and the organizations of Polish students to Poland and to the Kurdistan Region take place. At the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan in 2007 Kurdology Studies Department was opened and at the Jagiellonian University in 2008 the Kurdish Studies Department started operating.