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 3 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

PhD Scholar in Medicine

University Of Queensland

Manager, Research Systems and Performance

Auckland University Of Technology

Lecturer in Aboriginal Allied Health

University Of South Australia

Lecturer, School of Nursing & Midwifery

Western Sydney University

College General Manager, SHE

La Trobe University
See all jobs

Most Commented

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham