2,000 Iranian elites abroad back to domestic business environment

June 13, 2021 - 18:33

TEHRAN – The progress, made in startups, research, and academia since 2015, has led to the return of 2,000 Iranian specialists and graduates from 400 prestigious and top universities in the world.

During the last decade, compared to a decade earlier, student migration has had a steady trend, Bahram Salavati, head of Iran Migration Observatory said.

“In the meantime, over the past three years, due to the policies of the former U.S. president, the increase in the exchange rate and the prevalence of coronavirus pandemic, student migration to foreign countries has stopped or in many cases has decreased sharply,” he stated.

Accordingly, the student migration rate in this decade has been estimated at 50,000 people, while during the previous decade, reached 50,000 people with a significant slope of 100 percent increase, he noted.

He went on to say that since 2000, 17,000 students migrated abroad per year, in 2008, the rate increased to 33,000 people, which almost doubled, IRNA reported on Sunday.

Emphasizing that from 2008 to 2012, migration of students reached 50,000 a year, he said that from 2012-2018, it stood almost at the same rate of 50,000 students.

According to available statistics, the main destinations of Iranian immigrant students are primarily the United States, followed by Canada, Turkey, Germany, and Italy.

Iran also implemented a plan to return elites from the top 100 universities in the world, through the national model, the facilities are provided for their return, by creating technology parks, innovation centers, and factories.

The plan was able to bring back 2,000 Iranian students from the top 100 universities in the world over a three-year period, amounting to 600 people a year.

“Despite U.S. sanctions, Iran achieved scientific growth, and with the help of the technology ecosystem and domestic scientists, we were able to become one of the top countries in the field of technology in the region,” Vice President for Science and Technology Sourena Sattari said in January.

500 top researchers back home in 4 years

About 500 Iranian researchers have returned home over the past four years to transfer their knowledge and expertise to the country's universities, according to the vice presidency for science and technology.

With the support of the National Elites Foundation and Science and Technology Vice Presidency, universities, knowledge enterprises, technology parks, and incubators launched a plan titled ‘cooperation with Iranian expatriate entrepreneurs and elite’ in 2015.

The plan aims to attract Iranians abroad to share knowledge in different forms including postdoctoral research, research opportunity, and visiting fellows, in addition to being faculty members.

So far, it has attracted more than 500 prominent Iranian researchers living in other countries as faculty members of the country's top universities, which has had a significant impact on raising the quality of research, educational and international activities of universities.

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the return of elites to the country decreased in the first 5 months of last year, however, more than 300 graduates of the top 200 universities in the world came back to cooperate with domestic science and technology centers, which is almost double compared to a year before.

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