For the first time ever, an Iraqi University has been listed among the best universities in the world. The University of Baghdad has made it onto the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. This is an annual list of the world's top 1,250 universities for research and development. The University of Baghdad has been ranked in the range from 801 to a thousand on the list of best universities. Phil Baty, the editorial director of the Times, stated that the university had "distinguished" itself for having a "very strong international cooperation". He said the University of Baghdad had played an integral role in the reconstruction of Iraq after its recent conflicts and internal strife.
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The University of Baghdad (also called Baghdad University) is the largest university in Iraq and the second largest in the Arab world, behind the University of Cairo. Its roots go as far back as the year 1067, when it was known as Abu Haneefa. The first of the university's modern departments was founded in 1908. It was formally established as the University of Baghdad in 1956. It managed to stay open throughout the invasions and occupations of Iraq during this century. The ranking on the Times list is seen as a prestigious accolade by many of its academics and students. One student said: "I am so proud of Baghdad University. It means the world to us to be held in such high esteem."