527,000 foreign students educating in Iran

May 7, 2022 - 18:17

TEHRAN – Some 527,000 foreign students are studying in Iran, the majority are Afghans and the rest are from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iraq, and other countries, the deputy minister of education for international affairs and schools abroad, has stated.

There are also 22 special schools for foreign nationals across the country, IRNA quoted Abolfazl Kamali as saying on Saturday.

Pointing out that 10,000 of the foreign students are studying in the special schools, he said that they study according to the Iranian education system.

By building special schools for foreign citizens, we intend to make education easier to achieve and not a single student to drop out of school, he further noted.

Iran spends about 20 trillion rials (nearly $77 million) every year on the education of foreign national students residing in the country. The Ministry of Education pays special attention to the construction of schools for Afghan nationals residing in Iran and has taken a rapid approach in this regard, he stated.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has placed special emphasis on "covering the education of foreign nationals" and this enabled these students to enjoy educational facilities and services just like Iranian students, he said.

Iran is home to over 800,000 registered refugees and some 2.6 million undocumented Afghans. Today, more than 500,000 Afghan children- including undocumented Afghans and those who have newly arrived in Iran following the Taliban-takeover-are benefitting from Iran’s inclusive education policies, one of the most progressive in the world.

Many of the refugees living in Iran are the second and third generation, according to the UNHCR.

Iran spends about 20 trillion rials (nearly $77 million) every year on the education of foreign national students residing in the country, head of the international affairs department of the Ministry of Education Gholamreza Karimi said in March 2020.

Foreign students attend Iranian universities

Some 57,675 foreign nationals from 133 countries are studying in Iranian universities, 30,600 of whom are studying in universities affiliated with the Ministry of Science, while 25,000 others are receiving education at Azad University and about 2,000 in medical universities.
Currently, foreign nationals constitute 1.64 percent of the country’s student population, which is about 0.14 percent higher than the goal set by the Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan (2016-2021), Mohammad Javad Salmanpour, the deputy head of the Organization for Student Affairs, said in April.

Twenty-five percent of the foreign students studying in Iranian universities are Afghan nationals, he added.

Afghan students attend Iranian universities in three ways; some enter the university by participating in the national entrance exam of Iran, and some others receive admission from universities that have non-Iranian student licenses. The third group also attended the country's universities through scholarships, he explained.

Many of the Afghan students are studying master's and Ph.D. courses in Iranian universities, he added, IRNA reported.

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