Meeting of Representatives of TUMS and UT to Discuss and Exchange Views on the Proposal for Holding Joint Programs and Courses
This meeting, which was hosted by the UT, was held on April 24th, 2021. At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Nekoofar referred to the history of forming a consortium of the top five Iranian universities and stated that more than five years ago, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, the University of Tehran, Amirkabir University and Sharif University were selected by the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain to participate in the Erasmus project.
He added: "After attending the University of Santiago and interacting with more than 35 universities around the world, the representatives of these institutes agreed to form a consortium of the top five Iranian universities with the approach of joint international cooperation. With the signing of a memorandum of understanding among the then presidents of five Iranian universities, the consortium officially began its activities and its secretariat was established at Tehran University of Medical Sciences."
Noting that he was then elected as the secretary of the consortium on behalf of the member universities, Dr. Nekoofar said: "The University of Tehran has designed a logo for the consortium, followed by developing a website and establishing a joint fund to allocate funds for international activities."
The TUMS Director of International Relations announced the consensus of the international vice chancellors of the member universities to enter the category of joint marketing and stressed: "With the perseverance of the International Vice-Chancellor of Sharif University and the consensus of other members, the initial proposal for launching joint courses and programs of the consortium of the top five Iranian universities was prepared and it was decided that in order to make a final decision, this proposal will be discussed and reviewed by the representatives of member universities (particularly from an educational point of view) in a joint meeting. Dr. Nekoofar specified that bioinformatics, medical informatics, biomaterials, neuroscience, pharmaceutical engineering and artificial intelligence in medicine are considered as common programs between universities of medical sciences and non-medical sciences.
Regarding receiving support from the higher authorities, he stated: "Fortunately, this move has been met with support and positive and constructive views at the level of the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Health. The Educational Deputy Minister of Health stressed the need to form executive and strategic committees and prepare a detailed roadmap in this regard, and believes that the implementation of joint courses/programs will enhance and strengthen relations among these universities."
Then, Dr. Hosseini, Vice Chancellor of the University of Tehran, pointed to the close and constructive relationship between the two universities in the field of education in recent years and said: "Fortunately, there are many common grounds for cooperation among the member universities of the consortium, and it seems that the future of scientific development of the country is closely related to cooperation of the universities at this level.
Explaining about the experience of UT in this area, Dr. Hosseini said: "In recent years, UT has defined the “Kahad” and “Do-vajhi” (two-dimensional) programs for its students. In the Kahad program, undergraduate students may take short-term courses with a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 24 credits in one of the UT's departments / faculties to get acquainted with other programs." The Dovajhi (two-dimensional) program, modeled on the European Union and universities abroad, gives students the opportunity to take 50 percent of their credits at the University of Tehran and the rest at another university." he added.
Elaborating on the purpose of offering these programs, Dr. Hosseini stated that the Kahad and Dovajhi (two-dimensional) programs are to increase the capabilities of graduates, goal-directed education, to expand the domestic and foreign labor market, and to increase the possibility of interdisciplinary research and innovation.
Also, emphasizing that the great universities of our country have the power to break the mold with the cooperation of each other, he added: "In the first step, we must accept that this level of interaction can be achieved and we can get closer to the main idea day by day by using successful experiences and examples implemented such as Kahad and Dovajhi programs."
In the end, Dr. Hosseini, while appreciating the cooperation among the top five Iranian universities, proposed the implementation of this project with two to three programs in a transparent and problem-solving manner as a starting point.