Implementing Bologna Process at Iraqi Kurdistan Universities: Opportunities and Challenges

Hawran Abdullah Saeed
Split Site PhD Student
Salahaddin University – Erbil

Botan Majeed AL-Hadad
PhD, assistant Professor
Erbil Polytechnic University

Kawa Abdulkareem Sherwani
PhD, Professor
Erbil Polytechnic University


After its launch in 1999, the Bologna Process attracted many countries in Europe and outside Europe. Nowadays, universities around 50 countries implement it. Bologna Process has established objectives for reforming the higher education, mainly in Europe, through enhancing competence based education where the students have been positioned at the heart of the process where degree levels, curricula, credit transfer and accumulation system and higher education’s regulations have been improved and reformulated. Its main aim is to ensure further transparency and facilitate greater mobility for the students, employability and internationalizing the universities all over the world. For this purpose, many countries outside Europe have joined Bologna Process with which they are called followers; the closest European example for the Kurdistan Region is Turkey which has joined this system since 2002. Some universities in Kurdistan Region started to implement Bologna Process partially and independently since 2016. This study is an attempt to explore the current status of implementing Bologna Process at Iraqi Kurdistan universities. It focuses on the challenges that universities face in implementing this process and the opportunities that the universities and students seek if they implement Bologna Process. This study is a descriptive one that uses the ministry and university regulations and instructions, the charts and tables that are used to explain the process for the teaching staff and students as data for the study. The paper concludes that the ground and environment of the universities are rather convenient for the implementation of the process, and there are opportunities to overcome obstacles to deepen and activate the main elements of the process. The study will also propose immediate necessity guides for higher education policy makers on further approaching the Bologna process.