Iran, Higher Education in

The contemporary history of higher education in Iran represents a unique case of rapid expansion, democratization, social and political contribution, quest for academic freedom, and a counterexample to the stereotypic confrontation of religion with education of women and scientific development. This entry discusses the history of higher education in Iran and its enrollment patterns and governance structure. It then looks at academic research and student activism in Iran.


The documented history of higher education in Iran goes back to the 3rd century CE, when the Academy of Gondishapur became a place for scholars from all over the world. During the 16th–18th centuries, higher education in Iran developed in the form of madrasahs (schools) that were centered on educating scientists, scholars, and ministers with a focus on ...

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