English हिन्दी
Connect with us

Latest world news

“Iranian history, literature most sought-after”



Professor Mohammad Kafi, president of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Ferdowsi University of Mashhad was established in 1949, and with nearly seven decades of a brilliant academic record, research and cultural history, it is currently one of Iran’s top three universities and also the largest centre of higher education in the northeast of Iran. Professor Mohammad Kafi, president of the university, spoke to Shailaja Paramathma in an email interview about institutes of higher education and the student life in Iran. Excerpts from the interview:

The Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (FUM) offers 180 bachelors, masters and PhD programs in the field of engineering, humanities and various sciences. Which are the most sought-after courses?

All the courses and programmes are of standard scientific level at the university and many students from several countries are studying in different disciplines. However, programmes associated with humanities, such as Iranian history and literature, are more sought-after. Courses in chemistry, electrical engineering, mathematics, agronomy and food sciences are also excellent compared to other universities in Iran.

How many foreign students and from which countries seek out FUM, in particular, and other Iranian universities, in general, for higher education?

With 1,500 foreign students from 20 countries, FUM has the largest number of international students among Iranian universities. Main countries that send their students to FUM are neighbouring countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Lebanon. European and East Asian countries also select our university for courses in Persian language as well as for Iranian history and humanities courses. The same pattern holds true for other Iranian universities.

There was a time, around two decades ago, when the Iranian government offered substantial scholarships to Indian students to pursue higher education in Iranian universities. It has now stopped. What is the reason behind it?

These have stopped from our side. At present, all foreign students, including Indian applicants, can apply for scholarship through the Iranian ministry of science and technology. The university authorities can also offer some discount in tuition fee for meritorious students. But, generally speaking, we do not use our capacity for student exchange.

A grand view of the university gates

A grand view of the university gates

What is the vision of the universities in the long run to attract more foreign students? Is making English the medium of instruction going to be one of them?

In this regard, we have established an International Centre for Teaching Persian to Non-Persian Speakers. Undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to undergo a three- to six-month Persian language learning programme before they start their study. However, for graduates, many of our scientists are well-familiar with English as a second language and there is no problem in communicating with foreign students. We are also trying to offer some courses in English as well as the possibility of writing the dissertation, too, in English for international post-graduate students.

Mashhad is also known as “Iran’s spiritual capital”. How does the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, named after the laureate of Persian literature, poet Ferdowsi, serve to keep that link alive in its everyday life?

On one hand, Persian literature is mixed with spirituality and, on the other, Islam accords importance to science and literature. The faculty of theology and the faculty of literature at FUM are among the top and the most famous faculties in Iran. Furthermore, families nationally and internationally select Mashhad due to this advantage for their children to study.

Culturally, how is the everyday life of a student coming from a country like India different in Iran?

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.

Students attend lessons on the university campus

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.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Latest world news

Watch: PM Modi poses for selfie with Italian PM Giorgia Meloni at COP28 climate summit in Dubai

Italian PM Giorgia Meloni captioned the post Good friends at COP28 with the hashtag melodi.The post has got 5,63,598 likes on Instagram.



Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a moment of delight at the COP28 climate action summit in Dubai as he posed for a selfie with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The 46 year old Italian leader posted the selfie with PM Modi on her Instagram handle. She captioned the post Good friends at COP28 with the hashtag melodi.

The post has got 5,63,598 likes on Instagram. Large number of comments started coming on the social media post. One user said the world is one family. One user said this is the photo of the decade and there is so much power in this picture. Earlier PM Modi met Meloni on the sidelines of COP28.

He said India and Italy are looking for a sustainable and prosperous future. The two nations shared friendly relations when the Italian prime minister visited New Delhi for the G20 summit. She was warmly received by PM modi and she shook hands with him. Both the leaders burst into laughter after a brief conversation. PM Modi shared took to X (formerly Twitter) and said he had an excellent meeting with PM  Giorgia Meloni. He said their talks covered sectors such as trade, commerce, defence, emerging technologies.

The Italian Prime minister had also wished PM Modi on his 73rd birthday on September 17. She took to X(formerly Twitter) and wrote Happy Birthday Narendra Modi. A friend committed to building the future and proud of the history of great nation close to Italy. In March Meloni made her maiden visit to India and praised PM Modi. She said he is the most loved one of all leaders around the world.

The Italian prime minister’s visit coincided with the 75th anniversary of the bilateral relationship between the two countries. PM Modi warmly welcomed Meloni and congratulated her for becoming the first woman and youngest prime minister of Italy.

Continue Reading

India News

PM Modi proposes to host COP33 in India in 2028

The 28th conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC), refered as COP28, is currently taking place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12.



Prime Minister Modi was addressing the COP28 climate summit in Dubai on Friday, he proposed hosting COP33 in India in 2028. PM Modi said  India is committed to UN framework for climate change process. That is why, from this stage, he proposed to host COP33 Summit in India in 2028.

The 28th conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC), refered as COP28, is currently taking place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12.

As a special gesture by the UAE, PM Narendra Modi was given the honour of speaking at the Ceremonial opening of the summit, in which discussion will held on issues regarding climate change in the coming days. He said he announced one more pro planet, pro active and positive initiative- green credit initiative.

PM Modi said India’s goal is to bring down the emissions intensity by 45 % till 2030 and also said the country has decided to increase the share of non fossil fuel to 50%. He said India will keep going ahead towards the goal of net zero by 2070.

PM Modi will also attend three other high level events on the sidelines of the summit. Bilateral meetings with World Leaders like Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Israeli President Issac Herzog.

The COP28 conference brings together the heads of the state, climate activists, government ministers, scientists and other stake holders from all over the world so that discussion can take place and action can be taken on climate change. The key themes of the conference include slashing energy emissions before 2030 and fast tracking the energy transition, transforming climate finance, putting nature, lives, people and livelihood at the heart of climate action and mobilizing for more inclusive COP ever.

Continue Reading

Latest world news

US looks forward to seeing results, says Antony Blinken as India probes Pannu murder plot

White House spokesperson John Kirby earlier echoed Blinken’s remarks, but cushioned the statement by stressing the importance of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.



Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State on Thursday said that Washington takes very seriously the allegations that an Indian government official was involved in a foiled plot to murder Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil. Speaking to the media at Tel Aviv, the US top diplomat said that he couldn’t comment in detail on the matter as it was under judicial consideration, but welcomed the investigation launched by India into the alleged plot to kill Pannu.

He added that a number of them have raised this directly with the Indian government in past weeks. He mentioned that the Indian government announced that it was conducting an investigation, adding that it is good and appropriate, and that they look forward to seeing the results.

White House spokesperson John Kirby earlier echoed Blinken’s remarks, but cushioned the statement by stressing the importance of the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Addressing a press conference, he said that India remains a strategic partner, and they are going to continue to work to improve and strengthen that strategic partnership with India. He noted that at the same time, they take the aforesaid allegations and investigation very seriously.

John Kirby was responding to a question about the US Justice Department’s indictment of Indian citizen Nikhil Gupta, which accused him of working with an Indian government agency employee to hire a hitman to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a US citizen and founder of the Khalistani outfit, Sikhs for Justice.

Kirby further acknowledged India’s responsiveness to the matter, stating that they are glad to see that India is also taking it seriously by announcing their own efforts to investigate this. He added that the US has been clear that they want to see anybody that’s responsible for these alleged crimes to be held properly accountable.

Meanwhile, India has already constituted an investigation team to probe the allegations relating to the foiled plot to kill Pannun. The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Thursday described it as a matter of concern and also contrary to government policy the US linking an Indian official to the man charged with the alleged conspiracy.

As per reports, Nikhil Gupta, 52, has been charged with two counts of murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire for allegedly participating in the Pannun murder plot. He can be sentenced to a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, if convicted.

Continue Reading



© Copyright 2022 APNLIVE.com