Higher Education in Iran

This week we are going to talk about higher education system in different countries all around the World.
I cannot wait for class to hear about various systems and their functions.
In this post, I want to explain about my own country, Iran. So I make myself ready to contribute something in class too!
Iran is a developing country in the Middle-East. In Iran, there are 4 degrees in higher education level. Associate degree, Bachelor degree, Master degree and doctoral degree (PhD).
students who want to seek for higher education should have high school diploma and pre-university certificate as well.
Last year, a new system applied and the years of high school which was divided into three years of high school and one year of pre university, were changed and in the new system one year of pre-university was eliminated and it added to primary school. So the only degree that is mandatory for higher education is high-school diploma. Another issue which is very important in our education system is national entrance exam which is called “Konkur”. All students who already have high-school diploma should pass this exam and students are ranked based on their scores they get. Konkur is presented in 5 fields of studies. Mathematics, Science, Humanities and social sciences, Foreign Languages and Art. Moreover students who have vocational/technical and manual diploma can participate in another exam called Baccalaureate exam and completing two years of studying in the university and earn associate (Baccalaureate) degree.
Konkur is one of the toughest and most stressful exam in Iran. Most of high school students compete each year to enter in public universities which are better in quality and they are free. Nowadays more students can go to public university compared with the time I took Konkur. It has two reasons, number of students decrease due to decrease in population growth rate in early of 1990s and the capacity of universities increase drastically. Although entering to university is easier nowadays, Konkur has still full of anxiety and stress since the capacity of good universities such as Sharif University of Technology, University of Tehran, Shiraz University, Isfahan University and Polytechnic University is very limited and all of students want to enter in such universities.

I think higher education system in Iran needs a revolutionary reforms and I want to write about weaknesses of this system in next post.

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