Showing posts from January 19, 2007

Iraq´s college students flee a system under siege

By James Palmer, Chronicle Foreign Service
San Francisco Chronicle

(01-18) 04:00 PST Baghdad -- Even before bombings at a university killed at least 65 students this week, officials said Iraq's higher education system was on the verge of collapse. Faced with the lingering war and unrelenting sectarian violence, students by the thousands have been leaving campuses to return home or enroll at universities in other countries. Enrollment fell by more than half at some colleges in the past year alone, education officials said. Meanwhile, Iraqi professors continue to be targeted for assassination and intimidation. According to Iraq's Higher Education Ministry, insurgent and militia groups have killed at least 280 academics since 2003, and 3,250 others have fled the country. The violence also has caused as many as 40 percent of Iraq's professionals to flee the country since the U.S.-led invasion nearly four years ago, according to the Brookings Institution, an indepen…