Bogus University Grads Clog Job Market

In addition, he said, “The university should take into account the needs of the community in terms of the competencies needed by the country, while the government should offer job opportunities in all fields and in various sectors.” Shubbar contended, “Government employment is in fact disguised unemployment.”

The journalist Walid al-Tai, who writes about youth affairs for Iraqi newspapers, told Al-Monitor, “The policy of establishing many universities and facilitating the process of receiving graduate degrees caused a decline in interest in education and training institutes from which middle management staff had graduated.” He explained, “A lot of people are now seeking scientific and academic titles for sheer social prestige.”

The author Rafed Mahdawi stressed in an interview, “Many of these graduates [with doctorates and master's] are resorting to nepotism and corruption to guarantee these degrees and get a job.” Shatha Askar Najaf, an author and academic, appeared to agree, telling Al-Monitor, “In many cases, certificates are being awarded in Iraq in exchange for money.” Najaf further said, “A lot of university graduates lack competence, their target being to gain social prestige and increase their salaries.”

Najaf’s statement is in line with those of Sabah Mohsen Kazim, a researcher in community affairs who told Al-Monitor that through his relationships with universities by virtue of his work, he discovered that higher degrees are being sold to and bought by the wealthy and the sons of dignitaries and officials.

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