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Source: Sawah Press


Baghdad is investigating forged high school diplomas issued to Iraqis from 3 Lebanese universities

Source: Sawah Press

The Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research summoned its cultural attaché in Beirut, Thursday, as part of an investigation into the issue of private Lebanese universities granting forged certificates, in exchange for money, to hundreds of Iraqis, including representatives and officials, in a move that prompted the Lebanese Ministry of Education to open an investigation as well.

And according to what “AFP” quoted “Iraqi academic sources” who declined to be identified, at least three private universities are involved in this matter, and they have particularly benefited from the distance education period due to the Covid measures, to collectively give higher education degrees to Iraqis. They never went to Lebanon.

According to the sources, a large number of Iraqi parliamentarians and officials took advantage of this matter to obtain doctorate and master’s degrees from the three Lebanese universities.

Iraqi students in general seek to obtain higher degrees to increase the chances of obtaining appointments in government jobs.

A spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Education, Dr. Haider Al-Aboudi, confirmed that “the cultural attache in Lebanon, Hashem Al-Shammari, was summoned to Baghdad for investigation.”

He added, “The mission of the attaché is to follow up on the movement of students outside Iraq, follow up on their affairs, monitor their numbers, and support them in procedures and facilities. He is also responsible for cultural exchange, and therefore what happened is at the core of his mission, and for this he is subject to investigation.”

He explained that “the Ministry of Education issued a decision to suspend the acceptance of student certificates issued by the three Lebanese universities for not being committed to practical sobriety.”

According to an Iraqi official, the master’s thesis was sold for five thousand dollars, while the doctoral thesis was sold for ten thousand dollars through offices in Baghdad and Beirut.

Lebanese media reported that one of the institutions concerned is the Islamic University of the Supreme Shiite Council, and it has dismissed its president and four department heads. And appointed a new president, Wednesday.

And the Civil Service Commission opened an investigation into the matter in Lebanon.

The Iraqi official explained that “the number circulated by the media refers to 27,000 forged or sold certificates that came in an unreliable context, and the source of the information was not spoken by the Lebanese or Iraqi Ministry of Education.”

He pointed out that Iraqis are present in 14 universities in Lebanon, but the number of students in the three universities is six thousand out of 13,800 Iraqi students.

There are 36 private universities in Lebanon, in addition to prestigious institutions, some of which date back more than a century, such as the American University of Beirut or Saint Joseph University.

After the end of the civil war in 1990, the government authorized the opening of a large number of university institutions.

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