On Wednesday, July 20, the first Co-thinking Meeting on the Challenges of Quality and Quantity of the Continuing Education Programs, with emphasis on Ph. D. programs in Engineering fields, was held in the presence of Prof. Mojtaba Shariati Niasar, Deputy of Education, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, and heads and members of the specialized divisions of the Department of Engineering Sciences of the Academy.


At first, Prof. Jafar Tofighi, fellow of the Academy, stated that the members of the Academy, who are among the best distinguished faculties of the country, have some views regarding the quality and quantity of the continuing education programs. He mentioned that one of the Academy's duties is to criticize the scientific policies of the country and to give proposals for improving the affairs. He also expressed that the Academy has always been concerned in this regard so it has been decided to have a meeting with the authorities of the Ministry in order to resolve the problems and to take steps to advance the higher education of the country.


Then, Prof. Shariati presented a report on the situation of higher education in Iran in the continuing education sector during the past decade, and the current policies and programs. The report included details on student population, faculties, indicators, programs, policies, and the status of Ph. D. program entrance exam. He compared the situation of higher education in Iran with some other countries. Afterwards, he asked the Academy to function as a think-tank to review the new programs and methods of training, to support the right policies in legal authorities, and to supervise and evaluate the policies of the higher education.


The meeting continued with the exchange of opinions and viewpoints. Then some questions were posed by the audience and answered by Prof. Shariati.


At the end of the meeting, Prof. Tofighi summed up the topics of discussions and declared that there is a need to establish a fundamental link between the Academy and the Ministry. He also noted that the Academy requires correct and reliable information in order to be able to comment on the current policies and to express views.

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