Higher Education in Kurdistan Region

In Kurdistan Region there are at present some 19 state and state-recognised private higher education institutions. There are two semesters each academic year. The standard study period in which a degree programme can be completed is at least eight to ten semesters at universities.

The institutions above include universities and equivalent higher education establishments such as technical universities, comprehensive universities and specialised institutions at university level (eg. for medicine, sport, administrative studies, philosophy and theology). Only universities and equivalent institutions are entitled to confer doctorates.

The total number of the students at higher education institutes in Kurdistan region are 94,700. The percentage of female students is 48%. There is no tuition fee as the education is free in Kurdistan Region.

Professional career institutions

Technical and vocational institutions:

Professional career institutions have the task of providing students with practical training on an academic or artistic basis. Degree programmes and teaching at these are strongly oriented towards vocational studies and the practical requirements of working life.

The Professional career institutions offer shorter courses than the universities and arts and music colleges, particularly in the engineering disciplines, in business administration, social work and creative arts disciplines..

Colleges of Fine Arts and Music

A second strand of higher education establishment is the Arts and Music which, as well as the corresponding subject areas in the universities and Colleges, provide training in the fine arts and performing arts and also in music subjects.

Linguistic requirements

Kurdish/English/Arabic are the languages of instruction for all lectures, classes and seminars and you will be required to pass a Kurdish/English/Arabic language test to be admitted to, or registered with, a higher education institution. This is usually administered by the institution itself and is taken before you start your studies. There are various language courses available through the Kurdish cultural institute  in Kurdistan Region, as well as courses offered by language schools and higher education institutions in Kurdistan region; these include summer holiday courses, pre-study courses and courses accompanying regular study.

Foreign students  

Foreign students are enrolled at Kurdistan region institutes of higher education.


The Higher Education institutions in Kurdistan Region offer the degrees of Diploma, Bachelor, Master and Doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in various academic fields of science.


Accommodation is not warranted for students upon humanities. Their registration with Kurdistan universities or Colleges. There are halls of residence but most Kurdish and foreign students have to find their own accommodation.

You should go to your university of choice region well in advance of the beginning of the semester to arrange a place to live. Initially you may have to stay in a privately own rented house or other cheap accommodation until better housing is found. Selection of students for the relatively few halls of residence takes place six months in advance of the semester so you should apply well in advance. The academic advise centre and other university services will give you assistance.

Student organisations and services

In most Kurdistan Region areas, you would automatically become a member of the student union when you register – this is an organization established to help students-look after their own interests. You could also join one of the political groups or other societies. Your overall interests as a foreign student would be looked after by the Academic advisers. The advisory service will provide general tips to help you organize your studies when you arrive. Student welfare offices will give you assistance with economic, social or medical problems. Kurdish and foreign students receive a student card upon registration at a higher education institution and can, as a rule, use public transport at reduced prices and get inexpensive meals in student canteens.