Iranian hospitality is world-famous and all the students from around the world take back good memories from their stay in Iran. High living standards, cleanliness, welfare and safety besides plenty of customs and cultures are the highlights of life in Iran. Visiting places of historical value is another.
How do you keep in touch with your foreign students after they graduate? The fee that they pay would be higher than that for a local student, how is your alumni program’s outreach for a foreign student?
FUM is establishing an alumni association in which communication among graduates and university and other programs are planned. The tuition fees are competitive and there is hardly any difference in the fee structure between self-financed Iranian students and the international students.
Iranian economy is at present at an all time high; the sanctions have been lifted and the overall approach is more business-oriented. How come the assistance that the Iranian government used to give to its own students to study in India has now trickled to a minimum? What is the reason behind it?
After the lifting of sanctions, the Iranian government has envisaged many development programmes in various sectors. Supporting students to study at top universities all over the world will be one of the development programs. At the moment we have more than 4,000 Iranian students studying in various Indian universities. The main reason for reduction in this number is the increasing availability of seats in domestic universities. Some other factors to be considered are living expenses, student visa, and the time-consuming procedure for getting admission abroad.
The School of Architecture at the University of Tehran and the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran impart a few of the-best rated courses in their said fields. How important is it for a foreign student to know Persian to pursue these courses and does lack of that knowledge deter them from joining?
We encourage all applicants to learn Persian before starting their main courses so that they are able to communicate with people in the society, particularly those who are interested in pursuing Islamic architecture. However, universities are ready to offer courses in English if the number of foreign students is considerable. As I said earlier, for graduate students who are taking fewer subjects and are fewer in number in each course, teaching in English is more feasible. Now our faculty of architecture has ranked fourth amongst Iranian architecture faculties and we invite Indian applicants to pursue their studies in FUM.
Courses in entrepreneurship seem to be the next big thing in Iran. Tell us more about these courses and why students are attracted to them.
Today, universities are trying to provide courses and facilities to students to help them learn skills and gain experience, so that they can enter the job market upon completion of the study. FUM centres for entrepreneurship, incubator and innovation centres are in the chain for doing this mission, but still we are very far from the goals that we have aimed for.
You spent more than three years in India as the scientific counsellor at the Iranian Embassy in New Delhi and travelled extensively to the rest of India. What is your fondest memory of India?
India is a great country and there is always something for everybody that attracts and appeals to them. For me, India has plenty to offer, like its deep sense of culture in everyday life, neutrality, respect to elders and family, and simplicity of living.