Farwell to university entrance exam ‘Konkur’: minister

January 4, 2019

TEHRAN—In a recent tweet, the Iranian education minister has heralded the end to Konkur, Iran’s cut-throat university entrance exam. 

“On Wednesday morning over a session the final decision for [eliminating] Konkur was held. [It was decided that] students can gain admission to 85 percent of the fields of studies at universities without needing to take part in the difficult exam and undergo intense stress, solely based on their educational backgrounds; farewell to Konkur,” minister Mohammad Bat’haei wrote on his twitter account in Persian. 

The Iranian university entrance exam, is a standardized multiple choice test used as a means to gain admission to higher education in Iran. Students in the three main groups of mathematical sciences, experimental sciences, and human sciences and two other groups of arts and foreign languages will compete in an attempt to seek a place in one of the public universities after finishing the 12-year compulsory education. 

As the number of seats at top public universities are limited the competition is usually cut-throat and the exam content is rigorous.

He further extended his gratitude to the Ministry of Science for their cooperation.  

Abdolrasoul Emadi, an official with Education Ministry, also told ISNA news agency that as per a statute passed by the Ministry five years ago it was approved that 85 percent of the universities’ admission capacity should be filled based on students’ educational background since the year 1397 (March 2018-March 2019). 

Capacity of institutions refer to the maximum number of students that an institution can absorb and sustain for quality education available based on human and material resources.

Emadi went on to explain that this year is the first year that the law in being implemented.

Students will be informed about different fields of study they can major in without needing to participate in Konkur at different universities prior to the end of the current education year by referring to universities website and signing up for their desired major. 

Sanjesh Organization (an institution in charge of coordinating and administrating Konkur) will soon announce the details of the new scheme and the aforesaid statute will be applied to all universities including the state run ones as well as the public ones, he added. 

Students’ educational background plays the key role in gaining admission to the universities, so that after checking their backgrounds universities will either accept or reject students’ applications, Emadi highlighted. 

The related guidelines for implementing the scheme have been already approved and will be soon announced to the public, he concluded. 

The Iranian science minister, Mansour Gholami, announced in mid-December 2018 that Konkur, will be eliminated by the next three years. 

He went on to say that the universities were required to come up with their own specific plans and guidelines for admission policies.  

It is generally believed that private institutes which offer additional educational materials as well as extracurricular activities are the main obstacles to eliminate the exam as Konkur has become a highly profitable market for them. 

MQ/MG

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