The Australian Ambassador Visited TUMS and Met with the TUMS Officials
In the first part of this visit, the Ambassador of Australia to Iran, Ms. Lyndall Sachs, along with her Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. Denis Cairney, visited the TUMS School of Dentistry. In this visit, they met with the school’s Dean, Dr. Rokn; Vice Dean for International Affairs, Dr. Shakib; and some academic staff, and also visited some of the departments and facilities including the departments of Pediatric Dentistry, Orthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, and Prosthodontics to get acquainted with the capabilities and potentials of the school.
The next place the ambassador visited was the TUMS Comprehensive Research Laboratory, where they met with the Vice Dean for International Affairs of the Laboratory, Dr. Tabatabaei, and learned about some of the capabilities and potentials of the center in the area of service and research.
After these visits, Ms. Sachs and Mr. Cairney participated in a meeting with the university officials at the TUMS headquarters. At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Kordi, the TUMS Vice Chancellor for Global Strategies and International Affairs, on behalf of the other university officials, welcomed the ambassador and expressed his appreciation and happiness for the ambassador's presence at the university.
He then presented a brief history of medicine in Iran and the background of TUMS, and introduced this institute as the oldest and highest ranking medical university in the country.
He also remarked the university's position and scientific leadership in the region, the role of the university in the production of medical equipment and pharmaceutical products, as well as the university's international ranking, and the university's scientific collaboration with other universities and medical institutes in other countries, including Australia.
He stated that in the last five years, 5,525 articles have been published jointly by the TUMS faculty members and researchers and professors at Australian universities. Dr. Kordi added, “Also, TUMS and Australian Scientific Centers have collaborated in publishing 510 articles in Scopus during the same period. Among the partner countries in the publication of joint papers, Australia is in fourth place, and TUMS has had the most connections with the universities of Melbourne, Sydney, New South Wales, Queensland and Adelaide in Australia.”
Dr. Kordi cited the implementation of a program of two supervisors to co-direct a PhD student dissertation (Cotutelle) with Australia's Macquarie University as a successful example of collaboration with Australian universities. At the end of his remarks, Dr. Kordi announced the university's readiness to develop educational, research and treatment collaborations with Australian scientific centers and said that in addition, with the approach of providing the required education to neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, TUMS is ready to collaborate with Australian universities.
Then Dr. Nekoufar, the TUMS Director of International Relations, expressed his experience of working with Macquarie University of Australia and said,” During the meetings with the officials of this university a while ago, there was an opportunity to get acquainted with the Cotutelle program, and later on, Macquarie University announced its readiness to award five scholarships to the TUMS students who are applying to participate in the program.”
Referring to the TUMS capabilities in various fields and the possibility of sharing existing experiences and skills, he added: "It is expected that the Australian Embassy in Iran will introduce TUMS and its capacities to the Australian universities and facilitate inter-academic connection." He also referred to the award of international accreditation certificate by ASIC Institute to TUMS and its extension in 2017, and added “TUMS also welcomes international accreditation by accreditation institutes operating in Australia.” Dr. Nekoufar also stressed the importance of the recognition of TUMS degrees by relevant organizations in Australia and called on the Australian Embassy to assist TUMS with this matter.
The TUMS Director of International Relations, drew the Australian Ambassador's attention to the issue of receiving international assistance to provide medical education to African countries, given that a significant number of students from African countries are studying at TUMS. Dr. Nekoofar also suggested that a comprehensive proposal would be prepared to determine how to work with the Australian Embassy regarding the issues raised in the future. He concluded: "If the embassy agrees to this suggestion, and the parties appoint representatives to review and implement the proposal, the agreed cooperation will proceed more rapidly."
Then. Ms. Sachs, the Australian Ambassador to Iran, started her remarks by referring to her visits made to the School of Dentistry and the Comprehensive Research Laboratory and said: "I was greatly impressed by the facilities and capabilities of TUMS."
Welcoming the increase in the TUMS scientific interactions with Australian academic institutes, she emphasized the direct relationship and connections between TUMS and Australian universities to establish and develop academic and research collaborations. The Australian Ambassador to Iran welcomed the preparation of a proposal by TUMS to identify areas for future collaborations, and assigned Mr. Cairney, as the person in charge of reviewing the university proposal.
In the end, it was decided that the TUMS Directorate of International Relations would prepare a proposal and then send it to the Australian Embassy in order to determine the path of cooperation and the two sides to implement the cooperation proposal in this direction.