There is a trap for the unwary in the location of Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University. It was established in 1987 in Tabriz, Iran an ancient city whose 3,000 years of history mean it is regarded as one of the cradles of civilisation. The modern city is the largest in the north-east of the country and capital of the state of East Azarbaijan.
Founded as a branch of Iran’s teacher-training (Tarbiet Moallem) university, within a year the university had won independence as Tabriz University of teacher-training and was later renamed as Azerbaijan’s university of the same discipline.
Its monotechnic purposes and scope were transformed in 2001 when it became an all-purpose university covering the full range of disciplines at undergraduate and postgraduate level, with its operations transferred to a new purpose-built 100 hectare campus 35 miles out of Tabriz on the main railway line between the city and Tehran. The campus has its own station and is connected to Tabriz by a dedicated rail service, running four times a day.
Its declared purpose is to "train faithful, committed specialist manpower" through its faculties of humanities, philosophy, basic science, agriculture, information technology, engineering, psychology and education. In 2012 it took the name of Shahid Madani, a cleric assassinated in 1981 during Iran’s Islamic Revolution.
Its research centres have a strong scientific and technical orientation, while international links focus largely on regional connections with four partners in Turkey and two in Azerbaijan. The relationship with Kanazawa University in Japan reflects shared interest and expertise in earthquakes.