The role of research universities and educational institutes in any country is significant. The scientific community's attention to education has however been faced with obstacles. The situation in the country has led observers to ask why the Iran 'bloom' is dead despite being the center of all the arts, science, literature, and myth, such as Ibn Sina, Abu Reyhan, etc. In the recent times, Iran has lagged behind compared with the West. Consequently, reviewing the role of universities and research institutions of the country is needed. Social change, organizational factors, teachers, educational value systems, students, technology, transnational concerns, and scientific organizations, including academic learning infrastructure are important factors that have shaped higher education in Iran. Later, the paper considers suggestions that could be helpful in responding to the problems.
Despite a lengthy period of outstanding scientific and literary past, Iran cannot match the West. Instead of progressing, the country has been facing a decline. However, in the current times, authorities appear to be facing the situation a little better. There is no doubt that many experts have thought and experienced problems in education. However, the state of education has been raised in academies, scientific research councils, universities, research and organizations in the country. Officials at various levels are willing to study since they recognize the need to solve the problems. However, solving these problems is exceedingly complex. Thus, it would require a thoughtful approach that involves using experienced experts. Taking a global perspective would be beneficial in solving the high education problem. Nonetheless, whoever is tasked to bring change into the education system, must remain patriotic to the Iranian nation.
Role of Universities and Research Institutions
Considering what should be the first thing to be revealed is paramount. Secondly, the next concern rests on what is the infrastructure that is necessary to introduce any changes. The third issue revolves around what the obstacles that prevent the infrastructure development are. Fourthly, focusing on the solutions that can be offered to achieve the desired level of prosperity is crucial. Moreover, since universities are central to knowledge provision, further discussions should be organized on the issue.
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The three main parties that constitute the scientific community are (1) professors, (2) students, and (3) educational content. Through the interaction of the three components, education is enhanced by knowledge expansion. Nevertheless, a collection of other factors is crucial to the process of science for it to be highly effective. Such factors include organizational and other factors like social, economic, political and cultural interventions in the system model, variously called, the cultural environment.
Infrastructural barriers are diverse. In this regard, cultural infrastructure emerges first. In Iran, there are more elements of a cultural system of the society including the impact of the elite on the education system. The effects of cultural infrastructure remain subtle. More specifically, the main reasons for the lack of progress in science are autocratic behavior, normative behavior, emotional behavior, conflict-seeking behavior, selfishness, etc. (as quoted by Rafi-Pour, 1381).
The second attribute of infrastructure is social. Social infrastructure borders on ignorance of the community's responsibility to take charge. In practice, a community has a big role in the progress that is achieved. Hence, the levels of awareness regarding the state of training, education and scientific knowledge play a big role in overall progress that a community registers in education. Rafi (1381) wrote about acts of charity and courageous battle. The author postulated that it was due to failure to consider the consequences of the social system that brought serious damage to the education system.
The most important of the measures used to counter educational decline include policy instruments, which are expected to take an outward expansion approach. Adopting policies that are modeled using the modernization process as was done by the Western societies; Iran could be in a position to move forward in the education front. In the case of the Western societies, development was initiated from within the communities' culture. Overreliance on traditional practices would most likely compromise the education development agenda. This view is held in reference to the idea that third world countries have been slow to introduce changes, an aspect that has compromised growth and development in the education sector. The culture of the poor countries is thrust into the education system resulting in irregularities, distortions, prostitution, theft, corruption, and distrust.
The other influential infrastructural development concern is based on administrative structuring. Administrative infrastructure and organizational factors are considered as key impediments to educational progression in Iran. In Iran, the number of centers that make decisions directly or indirectly about science and its fate is relatively high as compared to other countries. They include the Supreme Cultural Revolution, the Ministry of Science, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Education. This translates to duplication and multiplicity of institutions and programs that operate in parallel and sometimes conflicting ways. This state of affairs prevents the growth of scientific knowledge, and is thus a major obstacle to development. This is a critical barrier to appropriate management structuring of science, research and technology. Multiplicity of decision making at the macro level, coupled with the integration of higher education in the public sector and some private institutions lead to poor quality and inefficiency in the education sector.
Organization of the University
The general terms of both academic and administrative departments are inseparable. However, the head of an organization should operate distinctly from the various councils, deputies, and heads of faculties, departments and the Office of Science of the University of Influence. Despite the separation among departments, a high level of coordination is necessary to guarantee success.
It is obvious that when a president is not strong enough, he would need a strong board or staff to achieve goals. However, if it is not possible to have strong subordinates, it is possible that an organization would suffer from poor leadership. Organizational leaders exist for the purpose of scientific and intellectual level management. In the face of inadequate organization, the students who graduate are likely to exhibit poor skills. Unfortunately, scientific management structures have lost track of their main task, therefore increasing monitoring and evaluation of the officers would be beneficial to the education system.
University councils are an integral component of the administration of universities. Although the majority of the academic and research functions of the council lean more towards financial and administrative affairs of the university, sometimes, they border on faculty and students' problems. If these councils were more efficient, they could help solve the problems that universities face in Iran (Rafi-Pour, 1381).
Research councils have a duty to review and approve or disapprove of engagements of universities within the country. The councils also influence the budgetary processes in terms of allocation of research funds. By judiciously allocating funds, the councils would help universities to conduct the most necessary activities that are significant in improving the state of universities in the country.
The organizational model that the Iranian education uses is faulty and should be overhauled. Put differently, there is need for a fundamental change in the organization of the model. The current model adopts the approach taken by the University of America. The model is not good enough for Iranian universities. This is because the model has been tested and shown that due to the cultural, political and social differences between the two States, it is inappropriate (Aghazadeh, 1383). Moreover, the educational model's components cannot be directly adopted. Taking ideas from other parts is preferable although such adoptions should be consistent with local demands.
Administrative System of Universities
One of the major problems concerning the advancement of science in the universities' administrative regimes rests on the big number of staff that is required. The required number is too high while the actual number of staff falls short. Thus, duties overwhelm the staff members. Heavy workloads lead to low motivation and morale. From this, it is clear that efficiency is low (Rafi-Pour, 1381). Hiring enough staff is necessary if improvements are to be made.
One hugely significant factor that affects the growth and development of education and science in Iran is politics. The social system has a scientific impact on political infrastructure. When one considers any issue in any society, the nature of the problem and its solution originates from previous thoughts. Hence, the main function of science is to help solve problems by coming up with solutions (Quoting Nature, 1379). When reviewing the leading countries in science policy, three main approaches can be inferred. In most cases such policies reflect,
2) Approach observer mission
3) Fusion approach
Unfortunately, in Iran, this area is extremely poor. First, the mind of policy makers, science and investments for sale or sale of more cost-effective and long-term oil and gas agreements with countries that are being exploited by powerful countries like our own country characterize the policy-making environment.
Everyone knows that our country has so many talented and thoughtful people. However, for someone who does not value development and uphold dignity, the value of enhancing education is minimal. Thus, it is not coincidental that developing countries commonly talk about science, but, in fact, do little about it. First, progress of science depends on the responsible country.
For Iran to make progress in higher education, the following considerations are proposed. The people should:
1 understand that they can achieve their goals of science are success statecraft,
2 should be trying to help the others to understand their rights to organize,
3 encourage scientists to manufacturer and bring appropriate knowledge to organize,
4 encourage reproduction
Information technology infrastructure
The importance of information technology, research, development, and communication between researchers and scholars is equally a concern in Iran. This holds regardless of location. In fact, with the development of the media, the world is experiencing a revolution in education. The formation of such concepts, as information literacy, e-learning and virtual universities has contributed towards the education revolution (Azari, 1381). The ministry and scientific organizations should take action to ensure that changes are harnessed and introduced into the education system without causing disturbances to ongoing programs. Surely, some of the most relevant scientific organizations are universities and other institutions of research (Shariatmadari, 84). However, as already indicated, universities and research centers should not be under the influence of Western values. Foreign ideology should guide our research and educational lines. We believe that education and research should be free from bias, prejudice and follow reasonable procedures.
The main weaknesses that are identified are based on culture. They include:
1) Lack of confidence and self-belief, imitation and bewilderment in the face of new cultural developments
2) Lack of appealing social relationships in the country
3) Dominance of profiteering tendencies in education and research and the use of science (document-oriented) for personal gain
A major weakness is also attributable to the social and political influences. They include
1) Lack of a supportive work culture, poor collective creativity and generation of general distrust
2) Lack of personal wisdom and rational structures for dealing with the issues that emerge
3) Lack of job security and poor social and economic status in addition to a low coefficient of hope
4) Poor efficiency in existing systems, research in universities and research centers
5) Loss of attachment to technology by universities
6) There is an atmosphere of fear and lack of tolerance for dissenting views and opinions
7) Failure to match the content of research training needs with domestic and international research
8) Inefficient educational system in the country
9) Lack of a clear and comprehensive plan for the development of scientific institutions
Hence, the weaknesses are seen in many of the issue areas pointed above. Other limitations are based on education and training weaknesses. Additional concerns gravitate around social participation, lack of confidence, imitation culture, lack of understanding of the cultural heritage, disregarding Islamic heritage, no spirit of criticism, poor evaluation of scientific values, lack of scientific thinking about the quality of teaching research in universities and research institutes.
1) The "control" of the investigation department to "conduct" research becomes critical (Research Institute for the Control of an ossified and it are virtually inert). As already indicated, the role of research is critical in the process of improving higher education in Iran. Thus, efforts should center on conducting additional research.
2) The position of the younger generation in the context of a research project emerges. The generation should be well trained. Education is the way of research. Talented people should be familiarized with the way scientific research topics are chosen and the appropriate approaches to design. By empowering the younger generation, the state of higher education in Iran would improve since this group has the capacity to carry education forward.
3) Increasing research centers should also be considered. Research institutions are critical in the development of education. As such, efforts to increase the number of such institutions should be made. After increasing the facilities, the Iran high education could benefit since conducting large-scale research would allow for unmasking the problems that affect education. Thus, it would become easy to develop solutions to counter the problems that are established.
4) The reasons for the brain drain rests on the inability to attract elite talents. Efforts to correct this concern should top policy-makers' priority lists. Since brain drain negatively affects the state of higher education in Iran, solutions to address the concern should take centre stage. By reducing brain drain, university education would benefit since students are likely to benefit from the services of a wide array of scholars.
5) Iranian elite universities should be allowed to adopt up-to-date approaches to serve different people. The adoption of current approaches is highly significant. Current approaches would unlock the potential of the young people especially in regards to how research is conducted. Such improvements would definitely contribute towards the progression of university education in Iran.
6) There should be no doubt in the context of scientific management agencies, academic scientists and managers regarding the way to move forward. In the scientific field, experience is important. The need for consensus among the various stakeholders is clear. Consensus allows concerned parties to respond to the problems using a single approach, which in turn facilitates progression.
7) As to how science education relates with primary education, efforts to align primary texts and higher-level education texts should be upped. Aligning all education providing institutions is a primary issue. Alignment of goals, for instance, helps the education institutions to pursue common goals using a common approach. This also promotes congruency in goal pursuit.
8) A composition of experts from various scientific groups, encouraging students to study academic subjects at the world stage and pushing them to embrace fundamental research should provide the scientific background. The role of encouragement is critical in academic endeavors. Those students who receive encouragement from successful people are more likely to excel. As such, efforts to encourage young students should be given priority.
10) Appropriate training of students based on the system, "teacher-centered" to familiarize students with the resources and training to keep track is proposed.
11) Experts should be sent to the field to help the younger generation to understand the world, their participation in community affairs, strengthen social values, and how to take effective steps in higher education.
12) Universities and research and training centers should try to realize a dream of development, thinking and innovation in the face of societal problems through healthy competition, and the development of science, research and technology.
The points raised relate to the state of infrastructure in the country. A bigger percentage of the infrastructure is damaged. Growth of global thinking, mutual scientific beliefs, political affiliation, which is rooted in the scientific needs of digital networking and scientific pluralism demand that the educational system be changed. The claim follows the general recommended guidelines. In conclusion, this paper establishes that Iranian universities encounter various problems. As the paper demonstrates, concerned stakeholders should take decisive steps in order to correct the problems. Since, one cannot overemphasize the value of education, taking corrective measures is highly desirable.
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