Iran has confirmed that the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education has removed 27 Iranian universities from its list of recognized universities.
Hashem Dadashpur, a deputy of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, said on Saturday that "In this academic year, Iraq has adopted strict conditions in its evaluation system."
The list is for Iraqi students who want to continue their studies abroad on government’s scholarships.
He explained that the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education used Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, and Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities to evaluate foreign universities, which led to the omission of some Iranian institutions.
Dadashpur said the decision is not specifically related to Iranian universities and many universities from Belarus, Jordan and Lebanon are also removed from the list, noting that 14 Iranian universities are still in the list.
According to him, currently 56,000 Iraqi students are studying in Iranian universities.
Several of the Iranian universities are institutions established after the 1979 revolution to promote Shiite Islamic ideology.
In recent years, numerous reports have been published about the decline in the quality of education in Iranian universities, which has led to the migration of elite students from the country.