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President Barzani universities to meet job market

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President Barzani universities to meet job market

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:55 pm

Universities should tailor
studies to job market needs

Institutions of higher education must tailor the programs they offer to the needs of the employment market, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani said on Friday

"A university has to graduate a student who the job market awaits and needs, not one who will look for a job but fail to find it," Barzani said during an alumni event at the University of Kurdistan Hewler (UKH) in Erbil, praising the university he founded for its efforts preparing its students for the job market.

"Education and higher education are keys to all successes and progress in all countries. Higher education must fit the needs of the job market,” he said.

The majority of university graduates in the Kurdistan Region are employed in the public sector, which was hard hit during the recent financial crisis.

“The public sector employs nearly half of the working population and as much as 75% of working women,” according to a September 2018 survey by the Kurdistan Regional Statistics Office (KRSO) and several agencies of the United Nations. Men’s employment is more varied, the study found, though still heavily weighted towards government jobs: “44% are in the public sector, 12% in the private sector, 21% are self-employed, 21% are daily workers and 2% are unpaid family workers.”

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) introduced a hiring freeze for permanent positions in the public sector during the financial crisis caused by a confluence of factors including the war with the Islamic State (ISIS) that began in 2014 and a budget cut from Baghdad in 2016.

University graduates have staged several protests, angry about the lack of opportunities. In July, unemployed graduates took to the streets demanding an end to the hiring freeze, saying they have waited enough.

On September 24, another group visited the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Aram Mohammad Qadir. “I see myself as the envoy of your demands and from the first day of my work I have prioritized your employment. I also ensure you that I will defend your demands,” the minister told them.

The new government of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has pledged to develop the higher education and scientific research sector. "We will enhance the capacity of the universities and institutes of the Kurdistan region in terms of quality, and help expand scientific research and study opportunities," reads the agenda for his cabinet.

His Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani has also said the government will work to boost the private sector in order to reduce youth unemployment.

Founded in 2006 by Nechirvan Barzani, UKH reports that almost all of their more than one thousand graduates have found jobs. According to data provided by the university to Rudaw, 80 percent of its graduates are working in the private sector, 16 percent in public sector, and four percent pursued further education.

Mahnaz Barzani graduated from the UKH’s Politics and International Relations in 2016. She says that the university has taught her to be a leader. “For me, the UKH was a gateway to the world and a place where I met lifetime friends. In the UKH, we learned to be leaders and face the modern world challenges. We are happy to be further working towards a brighter future with what UKH has given us,” she told Rudaw English.

The university billed its Alumni Reunion 2019 as a “a unique opportunity to meet up with old friends, build networks and see how the University of Kurdistan Hewler has progressed over the years.”
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President Barzani universities to meet job market



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