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Wednesday, 03 October 2012 13:24

Shiraz University: Tough and Distinguished

Shiraz University: Tough and Distinguished

Iran has a large network of private, public and state-affiliated universities offering degrees in higher education.


The state-run universities of Iran are managed by the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (for non-medical universities) and Ministry of Health and Medical Education (for medical schools).

Shiraz University is a public university located in Shiraz, Fars province. It is one of the major universities of Iran, Iranchamber wrote.

Presently, the university has over 13,000 students, with 53 Bachelor’s degree programs (BA, BS), 61 Master’s degree programs (MA, MS), one professional degree program (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) and 25 PhD programs.

The Virtual University of Shiraz is the first online university in Iran and the Center for Development of Scientific and Professional Ethics is the first center of its type in Iranian universities.



Shiraz University traces its roots to 1946, with the establishment of a technical college aimed at training specialists in the medical sciences with a four-year program.

Initially called the High Institute of Health, it developed into a medical school in 1950. In 1953, the Namazi School of Nursing and the Colleges of Agriculture and Arts and Sciences were established.

With the addition of the College of Engineering and College of Veterinary Medicine in 1954, the school was elevated to university-status. Other units that were subsequently added were the Dental School in 1969, the Graduate School and College of Electronics in 1969, Dentistry College in 1970 and the colleges of law and education in 1977.

In 1960, Iran invited University of Pennsylvania President Gaylord Harnwell to come to Iran and examine Iran’s higher education institutions. Harnwell prepared a report entitled “A Pattern for a New University in Iran”, and Iran subsequently decided that Penn would assist Iranians in transforming Shiraz University into the only institution in the Middle East based on American-style higher education.

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) thus became highly influential in shaping many of Shiraz University’s departments and institutions. Many faculty members from Penn were sent to Shiraz to teach and carry out research at the university, and an extensive exchange program was established.

The president of the University of Pennsylvania was even awarded an honorary degree in Shiraz in recognition of his help to Shiraz University.

Shiraz University is well known as a tough university with low GPA (Grade Point Average). Even universities like Sharif University of Technology and University of Tehran are not tough to the extent of Shiraz University. That’s why many students of Shiraz University believe their grades do not reflect their academic performance.


Language of Instruction

Although the official language of instruction in Shiraz University is Persian, a large number of lecture materials, reference books, homework assignments and even exams are in English.

This is especially true for the engineering school where electrical and electronics engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, material science and engineering and chemical engineering programs introduce English textbooks to students as the main references.


Notable Alumni

Richard Nelson Frye, director of the famous “Asia Institute” in Shiraz, and faculty member of the university

Sohrab Rohani, one of the winners of the 2008 Ontario Professional Engineers Awards (OSPE), chair of Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Western Ontario

Mohammad Soleimani, alumnus, Iran’s former minister of communications.

Gholamali Haddad-Adel, Iranian politician and former speaker of the Iranian Parliament.

Source: Iran Daily

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