IIE launches initiative to increase collaboration between US and Iran

Institute of International Education says there is an increased enthusiasm for academic cooperation between the two countries

August 5, 2015
Iran US flag collaboration
Source: iStock

The Institute of International Education has launched a new initiative to reinvigorate collaborations between universities in the US and Iran.

The organisation said its US university delegation to Iran in June found that enthusiasm for educational and scientific cooperation from both sides is accelerating, particularly in areas of water management, food security, stem cell research, nanotechnology and health and environment sciences.

It added that the most likely modes of cooperation will be PhD sandwich programs and short-term research opportunities for Iranian PhD candidates, joint PhD advising, dual degrees and short-term courses for US students.

The IIE’s Open Doors 2014 Report on international education exchange found that there were 10,194 students from Iran at US higher education institutions during 2013-14 – the highest number in 26 years.

The organisation said Iran had been the top sender of students to the US from 1974 to 1982, with the number of students from Iran peaking at 51,310 in the 1979-80 academic year, but this number declined dramatically throughout the 1980s and 1990s, reaching a low of fewer than 1,700 students in 1998-99.

It added that while US-Iran academic engagement has been sporadic throughout the past several decades, the last few years have seen a rise in collaborative activities including visiting researchers, joint conferences and exploratory delegations.

In a briefing paper on the initiative, IIE president Allan Goodman said the initiative will enable the US to “establish bonds with a country that has been all but out of reach to Americans for three decades”, adding that academic cooperation is likely to lead to “better political relations immediately”.

However, speaking to Times Higher Education, Dr Goodman said that a US embassy or consulate in Iran is needed for there to be “substantial mobility” of students and scholars between the two countries.

“Substantial numbers of US students going to Iran will require some form of diplomatic presence on the ground, but there will be more and more US students interested in going to Iran,” he said.

“There’s been a continuity of academic relationships motivated by good science, good research and interested topics. That’s one reason Americans are interested interested in Iranian counterparts and vice versa.”


You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Research Officer - Big Data for Better Outcomes LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE
Lecturer in Oral Microbiology UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest