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Newsweek: Iran home to one of the world’s best universities

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One of the best universities of the world is in Iran, the Newsweek weekly said in its latest edition, referring to Iran’s Sharif University of Science and Technology.
“Forget Harvard _ one of the world’s best undergraduate colleges is in Iran,” said the news weekly in an article appeared in its August 9 edition.

It said that Sharif University has now one of the best undergraduate electrical-engineering programs in the world.

“In 2003, administrators at Stanford University’s Electrical Engineering Department were startled when a group of foreign students aced the notoriously difficult Ph.D. entrance exam, getting some of the highest scores ever.

“That the whiz kids weren’t American wasn’t odd; students from Asia and elsewhere excel in US programs. The surprising thing, say Stanford administrators, is that the majority came from one country and one school: the Sharif University of Science and Technology in Iran.”

Newsweek quoted Bruce A. Wooley, a former chair of the Electrical Engineering Department, as saying, “Stanford has become a favorite destination of Sharif grads.”
Noting that Iranian students are developing “an international reputation as science superstars,” the weekly added.

“Iranian students from Sharif and other top schools, such as the University of Tehran and the Isfahan University of Technology, have also become major players in the international Science Olympics, taking home trophies in physics, mathematics, chemistry and robotics.” According to the news magazine most of the grads of Iranian universities were working with major international companies.

“The Silicon Valley companies from Google to Yahoo now employ hundreds of Iranian grads, as do research institutes throughout the West. Olympiad winners are especially attractive; according to the Iranian press, up to 90 percent of them now leave the country for graduate school or work abroad.”
Newsweek said that one of the major reasons behind the success of Sharif University was its “extremely rigorous selection process.” “The selection process [gives] universities like Sharif the smartest, most motivated and hardworking students in the country,” the weekly quoted one of Sharif’s former grads Mohammad Mansouri as saying.

The magazine added that boasting an excellent faculty and Iran’s high-school system were other secrets of Sharif’s success.

According to Newsweek Iran’s high-school system, places a premium on science and exposes students to subjects Americans don’t encounter until college.

Irancove @ August 12, 2008

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