Higher Education in Iran

In the past twenty years several high education programs all over the world have tried to examine and come up with appropriate way of improving the quality of education in the entire world. In the Islamic republic of Iran there has been an evaluation project which, have been taking place since 1996, basically from then there have been several attempt which aimed at institutionalizing the internal department at the university level .ideally, several policy making and high, education management programs have been at large concerned with enhancement and achievement of high levels and standards in education however the rate at which high education is being privatized, expanded and diversified has created a lot of concern in the Islamic republic of Iran. On the other hand higher education in Iran is facing high globalization challenge.

The Islamic republic of Iran higher education program is broken down into two major sub-systems: the comprehensive higher education system and the medical university system (MUS). These two sub-systems of higher education are governed by different bodies. The ministry of science, research and technology of Iran is responsible for all activities that are related to the comprehensive and higher education system while ministry of health and medical education deals which all issues concerning the medical university system. In the year 2007 an approximated number of students (2.7 million) enrolled to different higher education universities or rather institutions however the private sector in higher education received a higher percentage in terms of enrollment of higher education students (52%) . recently there has been measures put in place to evaluate the standers and quality of Iran’s higher education. In the year 1990 deferent stakeholders in education prepared a proposal with the core intention of evaluating and ranking Iranian universities using a neutral criterion basing on the activities each university conducts academically.

Later in the year 1996 a project was unveiled with the purpose of self evaluation, this was mainly to deal with the medical service university since it was initiated by the ministry of health, treatment and medical education. This initiation was to serve the purpose of motivating members of the factuality to take participation in improving the quality of their departments the ministry of health treatment and medical education, choose to order all the departments which were related to internal medicine at the University of the Medical Science and this was after the impact left by the evaluation project carried out by the pilot, due to this there has been a higher level of willingness of more than 400 departments in the university of medical science and comprehensive to carry out self evaluation. Disappointingly, a lower percentage (10%) of all those that did the self evaluation project came up with genuine final report.

The Iranian government is doing its best to ensure that all the higher education students get access to quality education; this is done through several stakeholders who work hand in hand with the quality assurance in order to provide quality education. The main purpose of the quality assurance in higher education is that takes part in verifying and assessing of both the input and the output of academics and their standards both in higher learning institutions and educational systems. In additional the government of the Islamic republic of Iran has plans underway for the purpose of strengthening the level of quality assessment and it has also increased its effort in application of evaluation process and approaches to examine and improve the qualities and standards of higher education.

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The Islamic republic of Iran has the admission for higher education organized from secondary school and it is followed strictly for any student who wishes to advance in higher education in Iran must have sat for and passed his or her secondary education. Secondary education in the Islamic republic of Iran is divided into two distinctive branches: the technical and vocational studies and the theoretical studies. Mathematics, experimental science, literature and culture, physics and social economic studies fall under the branch of theoretical while the technical branch is further divided into three sub-branches or sectors namely: agriculture, business and vacation and technical. Usually examinations are done at every end of an academic year of the secondary cycle. However for any student of the Islamic republic of Iran to be awarded with a high school diploma (diploma-e mottevasseteh) he or she must have completed several units during his or her three years of high school education and have obtained at least 96 units in academics. This will act as a ticket to the next educational level called the pre-university education. The duration of the pre-university education is one year. A pre-university certificate is awarded to the students who successfully go through this course. This certificate is used as a qualification for students to sit for higher education which is referred to as the higher competitive national entrance exam (konkur) however for students to get chances of joining the university they must have succeeded in this examination.

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Higher education in the in the Islamic republic of Iran takes place mostly in Tarbiat Modares University, with the sponsorship of several agencies including the ministry of health, treatment and medical education and the ministry of science research and technology . Students are admitted and sponsored in the public university on the basis of merit in the secondary and pre-university education and the competitive national entrance examination (konkur) however for students who joins private institution for higher education have their own competitive national entrance examination (konkur).for students to be awarded with the first degree (Licence/kar-Shenasi) they should have completed a four year course and the degree is then awarded to them on a credit system of 153 units and a general score of at least 12 over 20. After the degree students can peruse a master’s degree which normally takes two good academic years. The completion of the masters’ degree paves way for the PhD study which takes a duration ranging from three to six years to be completed. The departments which deal with higher education in the Islamic republic of Iran come up with a suitable way of ensuring that the number of male and female students who are enrolled for higher education is balanced. On the other hand there are several fields of study in higher learning institutions, ranging from arts, engineering to humanities however they vary in terms of study, the field of humanities recorded the highest percentage of 48 the second field of study is engineering with the percentage of 22 then, the field of arts come third with a percentage of 3. The University of Tarbiat Awards postgraduates in masters and doctorate to cater for diversity and the multiplicity of several fields of study in institutions of higher education, it also aims at creating a close connection throughout the entire education system.

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The education system in all institutions of higher education in the entire Islamic republic of Iran is based on the unit system and in each semester students are awarded with credits. There is always an entrance examination which is always done at the end of every year for students who wish to peruse PhD and masters, for them to be accepted they must pass this entrance examinations. There are set regulations for the masters degree and they must be followed to the letter. The masters program aims at developing the field of science and the methods of research related to them. Generally the requirements for the for the enrollment of the masters degree are as follows; one should have attained a bachelor degree from a recognized higher education institution and it should be accepted by both the ministry of science research and technology and the ministry of health and medical training of the Islamic republic of Iran, should meet the general requirements of admission of the masters program and have scored the acceptable marks during the entrance examination. For the students to attain the master’s degree he or she should have attained not less than 32 units. But for the foreign students to peruse the masters’ degree they must study the Persian language first which is necessary for their study and stay in the Islamic republic of Iran. They should also attend all the necessary educational courses in Iran and they should be related to both education research activities however the students of master’s degree must write a thesis at the end of their masters and it should be related to their field of study and under the supervision of a supervisor. The examination and evaluation of the thesis written by the student of the masters degree is done by the board of examiners with the inclusion the supervisor.

The students who .intend to pursue the PhD degree must meet the following requirements; must be a holder of the masters degree which ‘is recognized and accepted by the ministry of science, research and technology and ministry of health and medical training, should have attained the general requirements of a PhD student at TMU, should be in a position of passing the foreign language examination and pass the PhD specialized entrance examination. Basically the PhD degree program is further subdivided into two major stages, which includes the research stage and the educational stage. The begin of registration of students for the PhD course ushers in the education stage of the PhD program and it progress up to the stage of completing the exams and the education course then the last stage of research begins, the research stage will come to a conclusion with the preparation of a dissertation by the student of who pursued the PhD. During the educational stage the students are required to pass between 42-50 units however this mainly depends on the field of study. It is also necessary for students who pass their examinations to have a comprehensive examination which should be both in oral and written forms and it is always done under the supervision of a number of factuality members. After a student has pass the education stage he or she have a chances of enrolling for the research stage and start the preparation of a dissertation however the student works hand in hand with the supervisor in determine the topic of dissertation and take the dissertation for approval to the research council of the factuality before the commencement of actual research. The all process of academic dissertation carried out by the student is always supervised by the supervisor in addition the defense of the dissertation will only be allowed if the student, will in a position of publishing at least one in accredited with the journals of science. Finally it will be the duty of the board of jurors to evaluate and come up the judgment of the dissertation.

In the Islamic republic of Iran higher education suffers severe deficiencies in relation .to the .expansion of the entire education system, with the consideration of the fact that the demand of higher education will keep on increasing, this has come at the time when both the private and public sector trying to find solutions to rapid demand of higher education institutions, however the public sector which deals with the higher education institute suffered the blow of being under-funded but the private sector whose main focus is mostly to gain profits in a short term period.On the other hand the lack of institutional quality measures in higher education institutions in the Islamic republic of Iran makes the students to be in uninformed position thus making it hard for the government to clearly understand the educational demands of its students therefore it becomes hard for the government to raise the standards of higher education in Iran.

Basically the Iranian government struggles to provide higher education using a smaller budget. Ideally there is a close connection between economical development and the growth of higher education in the Islamic republic of Iran however this will always have the inclusion of culture and knowledge and on how they spread on the contrary the Iranian government has put in place ineffective policies which plays a hindrance role in development and growth of higher education basically the higher education system in Iran is greatly affected by the low quality in the kind of education which is implemented in the school. In addition the main reason for the low quality education offered in Iranian higher education institutions is as a result of high number of students being enrolled, poor management, and lack of adequate technology, poor instructional methods and poor incentives for both the teachers and the students. Despite the fact that the world has evolved in terms of technology the Iranian higher education system is still using the old educating system which are total unable to meet current educational needs. There is need for an immediate reform and transformation due to the increased rate of educational crisis and challenges. The Iranian government suffers from the lack of resources in reforming high education system; generally this process needs financial adjustments which are highly required by the global economy, as a precaution the government of Iran is ready to increase the cost .incurred in basic education on that of basic health and take the limitation of the cost, which is left for the purpose of expanding higher education introducing new reforms in the education system.

Currently higher education institutions in the Islamic republic of Iran faces the challenge of higher or rapid growth of the number of students which are enrolling for different courses in the institutions however the government and the governing bodies of higher education have not come up with the best way of dealing with social ,cultural and political discriminations. On the other hand the professors who handle different courses; in the Iranian institutions of higher education are poorly paid as a result they lack motivation as a result they will not deliver the content as expected , on the other hand the policies of hiring the professors at the higher education institutes is not on the basis of merit or educational qualifications but rather it is virtue of connections with superior politicians basically promotions are not on the basis of merit but on connections with powerful members of the government as a result this has rendered almost all member of the factuality in the higher education institutions to be under qualified ,totally out of touch with outdated knowledge which cannot benefit the current education needs. In addition there is improper use of the available facilities in the laboratory and the workshop as a result many students tend to fail in their respective fields of study. The management system at the institutions lack evaluation of performance and as a result there is very little being done to ensure that the kind of education being offered at the university is appropriate for both the students and the nation, on the other hand lack of transfer policy of the management staff from one university to another hinders the movement of new and different ideas from one university to another.

The introduction of computer and ICT in the curriculum of the Iranian higher education institutions was to serve the purpose of improving the efficiency in the entire process of higher education learning on the other hand the introduction of ICT have played Avery pivotal role in ensuring that learners memory is retained for a very long time, it also makes learners to be highly motivated and therefore their understanding grows deeper (Dede, 1998) collaborative way of learning has also developed in many Iranian higher learning institutions since the relevant organs decided to implement this policy of incorporation of ICT in higher education institutions. Basically it has promoted new ways of working and modern ways of teach (Balacheff, 1993) this has seen major changes in many higher education institutions however the Iranian government have to comment on the good work done by the factuality who suggested the introduction on ICT in the curriculum of the higher education of Iran(Whetston, 2001). This has provided the students with the required skills which are expected of them when they graduate. Higher education have undergone so many change in the recent years due to the introduction of ICT, however this come as the implementation of the government policies and the ideas which were cultivated the different educational intellect and several educational stakeholders who saw the need for transforming the way higher education was passed from generation to .generation, in addition this also was brought in to meet the current global economical changes and needs. Basically there has been efficiency higher education and the quality of education has also change positively

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The Iranian government has put measures in place to ensure that the issues gender inequality which has mostly hindered female students to pursue their dream career after secondary school is done away with. In the previous years both female and male student who pursed coursed of higher education, had a tendency of being so selective in terms of fields of study , however the Iranian government have come up a suitable way of banning the enrollment of both male and female students to specific fields of study as previously referred to as either field of studies for specifically for male or female students in addition the ban will also deal with the segregation of female students in the Iranian higher education institutions. The current restrictions were published and outlined, in the annual manual publication by the science and technology ministry in early august. The manual had given a number of fields which are not supposed to enroll to ideally it revealed that a total of 36 Iranian public universities all the Islamic republic of Iran have totally banned female students from enrolling to 77 fields of study (Mehr News Agency) however the article stated that that several government universities have restricted male students from enrolling to certain fields. In august 6 2012 it was reported that several universities have single gendered a number of fields of study (NEAO).

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