Some services may be temporarily unavailable due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) health measures.

Primary and secondary school

Changes due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

[If physical schools are closed]: Children in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) can access an e-learning site developed by the Ministry of Education:
• Offers lessons for grades 1-12 in Sorani, Badini, and Arabic for students enrolled in school.
• Uses videos and text to explain new information about all subjects.
• Children can access the site online with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
• Free access is available through service providers Newroz, Asiacell, Zain, Kurdtel, Tishnet, Alsard, Nurtel, Fastlink, TarinNet and IQ.

Refugees and asylum-seeker children have a right to access quality education. With valid residency in Iraq, they are eligible to approach the Ministry of Education to enrol in public schools at primary and secondary levels free of charge.

• For children grades 1-4: Ministry of Education will assess grade level and conduct placement.
• For children grades 5-12: students should bring certificates from their country of origin indicating their grade level to the Ministry of Education, which will conduct placement.
• For those in Bardarash camp: school facilities are under construction. Catch-up classes and other informal programmes are available through UNHCR partners.

Additionally, various informal education programmes are available for children and adolescents, including:

  • Catch up classes: attached to the formal education program, for out-of-camp children
  • Technical Vocational Education Trainings: targeting out-of-school adolescents
  • Early Child Care Development: for pre-school age children and beginners

Higher education

Refugees and asylum-seekers can access tertiary education as foreign students in Iraq.

  • Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI): Per government directive, unless a refugee or asylum-seeker student completed their secondary schooling inside KRI, those wishing to enrol in a KRI university must first equalize their school certificates from their country of origin.
  • Central and Southern governorates: Enrolment in higher education similarly requires equalization of certificates for those who completed secondary school studies outside of Iraq. Those who have completed their secondary school in Iraq can enrol in public universities.

Scholarships and Opportunities

  • DAFI Scholarship: Each year, UNHCR selects and supports a small number of DAFI scholars in Iraq, with the support of the German government. Learn more about the DAFI programme here.
  • Overseas Opportunities: To find accredited higher education academic or scholarship programmes outside of Iraq that have been verified by UNHCR, visit: UNHCR may not be directly affiliated with a higher education opportunity listed, nor administering applications and overseeing admission

For more information, or to make a complaint or provide feedback on UNHCR assistance, call the Iraq Information Centre (IIC) toll-free at 80069999. All calls are confidential. The IIC can be reached 8:00am – 6:00pm (Sunday – Thursday) and 9:00am – 3:00pm (weekends and holidays)[1]. You can also request a call-back by sending ‘HELP’ and your phone number via SMS to 80069999, or via Facebook messenger (@IICInfo) and IIC operators will call you. Do not send details about your situation over the internet.

Scholarship Opportunity

[1] Subject to change