The Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education denied at the beginning the matter of counterfeiting certificates for 27,000 Iraqi students provided by three Lebanese universities, but the latter wasn’t able to keep the scandal underground.
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Iraq insisted on a serious investigation. It summoned the cultural attaché at the embassy, Hashem Al-Shammri, to interrogate him and find out the details of this scandal.
Three universities are seriously threatened with closure after the investigations are completed, namely: Jinan University, Islamic University of Lebanon, and MUBS.
The investigation process in the Lebanese Ministry of Education has been slow, and the problem is not the number of certificates, but rather the level: this scandal constitutes a black point on the record of universities in Lebanon.
During the era of former Minister of Education Akram Chehayeb, investigations kicked off to move towards unlicensed “universities”, and the recommendations of the Higher Education Council regarding these “shops” were raised again when Minister Tarek Majzoub took over the ministry, but he did not move a finger and ignored the issue.
The main problem lies in the lack of legalization and control of distance education. There is a legislative law that the American University of Beirut and Saint Joseph University have worked on, and it is awaiting approval.
On the Iraqi side, the decision was taken. They canceled the certificates issued by the three universities, and they are waiting for an investigation to determine the responsibility on both sides. In any case, we can say to the university’s “shops” owners: “This is a real scandal that we were exposed to it in front of foreigners.”