IRQ_SYS

Iraqi Higher Education Program and Grading

Iraqi Higher Education Area is structured around three cycles, Bachelor program, Master program and Doctoral program. The higher education study program is a hybrid program, mixture of the British program with the American program. Different systems are adopted in the higher education of Iraq:
  1. Semester system
  2. Yearly system
  3. Hybrid system, mixture of semester and yearly systems
According to the instructions No. 431 for the year 2000 and their amendments, the following were recognized:

Calculation of the Program Final Grade
The final year grade is weighted according to the number of studied years:
For four years study, e.g., engineering, science and social science:
  1. First year (first and second semesters) 10%
  2. Second year (third and fourth semesters) 20%
  3. Third year (fifth and sixth semesters) 30%
  4. Fourth year (seventh and eight semesters) 40%

For five years study, e.g., architectural engineering;
  1. First year (first and second semesters)  5%
  2. Second year (third and fourth semesters) 10%
  3. Third year (fifth and sixth semesters) 15%
  4. Fourth year (seventh and eight semesters) 30%
  5. Fifth year (ninth and tenth semesters) 40%

For six years study, e.g., college of medicine;
  1. First year (first and second semesters) 5%
  2. Second year (third and fourth semesters) 5%
  3. Third year (fifth and sixth semesters) 5%
  4. Fourth year (seventh and eight semesters) 20%
  5. Fifth year (ninth and tenth semesters) 25%
  6. Sixth year (eleventh and twelfth semesters) 40%

Notes:
  • For semester systems, each two semester are considered one academic year.
  • The minimum grad the student should collect to pass in any of the taught module should be 50.
  • The student has the right to do a resit examination if he/she failed in half or less of the module numbers whether is the semester of yearly system. I
  • In case that the student couldn’t pass in both, the final and resit examinations, he/she should study the failed module(s) and any other module with pass grade. 
  • It is allowed for the students to shift to the next semester/year with two or less failed module, he cannot shift to the semester/year after unless he passes all the current modules and failed ones in the previous semester/year.

Grading
The following numerical grades are substituted by the alphabetical grade equivalent
90 – 100 marks = Excellent
80 – 89 marks = Very Good
70 – 89 marks = Good
60 – 69 marks = Average
50 – 59 marks = Pass
00 – 49 marks = Fail

Curriculum and Module Credit
The number of study weeks per semester is 15 weeks, excluding the final Exam, whereas, it is 30 weeks per year, excluding the final Exam.
The module credit in the Iraqi higher education is measured by Units and calculated according to the number of theoretical and practical hours per week, which are the scheduled teacher-contact hours interventions.
  1. One theoretical hour = 1 Unit
  2. Two practical (Lab.) hours = 1 Unit
  3. Three practical (Lab.) hours = 1.5 Unit

For the Bachelor degree with four years study, the student should collect around 140-145 Units. 

Grade Point Average (GPA)
The Grade point Average (GPA) in the Iraqi higher education system of the program to get the Bachelor degree is the summation of the each year grade multiplied by the corresponding percentage weight.

Example (1):
You have finished a bachelor's degree consisting of 4 years and you received:
  1. First year grade = 75
  2. Second year grade = 80
  3. Third year grade = 90
  4. Fourth year grade =65
The GPA = 75 × 10% + 80 × 20% + 90 × 30% + 65 × 40% = 76.5

Example (2):
You have finished a bachelor's degree consisting of 8 semesters and you received:
1. First semester grade = 70
2. Second semester grade = 80
3. Third semester grade = 90
4. Fourth semester grade = 70
5. Fifth semester grade = 90
6. Sixth semester grade = 90
7. Seventh semester grade = 60
8. Eighth semester grade = 70

The GPA = 70 × 10% + 80 × 10%  + 90 × 20% + 70 × 20% + 90 × 30% + 90 × 30%  + 60 × 40% + 70 × 40% = 76.5


The Issues of the Iraqi Study Program
The Iraqi higher education faces many issues, among them:
  1. Some colleges/universities follow the semester system, whereas, other colleges/universities follow yearly system. These create an issue to student's mobility among the colleges/universities inside the country. 
  2. For the student mobility between the Iraqi universities and the Universities abroad, it is difficult for the universities abroad to equalize the taught modules and their credits.
  3. The academic calendar of 15 weeks per semester or 30 weeks per year is very hard to be achieved due to the resit examinations during September of each academic year.
  4. The Unit system does not consider the real students workload, i.e., it is easy to find two different modules with different student workload but having the same number of Units.
  5. The GPA calculation depends on the different year weights, i.e., giving more weight to the senior level and less weight to junior level. This makes the students to be less focusing on the junior level study.
  6. The three cycles of Iraqi higher education do not function properly to prepare the student for the labor market. The curricula are setup based on the bench-marking with well-known universities without considering the country market needs.