Iran’s academic record is impressive, especially in science and technology. In these fields Iran’s output is eleven times higher than the average. Iran is also strong in the other sciences such as engineering, medicine, physics, chemistry and biology.
There are at least two reasons for this achievement. One is Iran’s disciplined high school system where there is a strong emphasis on mathematics and science.
The other is that while some of Iran’s politicians have been cautious about dealing with foreigners, there is no such hesitation in academic circles. At a university level there has been plenty of collaboration. Just this year Iran’s universities have hosted conferences for the leaders of universities from South Korea - another country with an impressive increase in scientific output - and Russia.
And since the lifting of sanctions there has been talk of strengthening links with US universities. These institutions are no strangers though to Iran’s academics. To the surprise of some, Iranians have often managed to win their way onto some of America’s toughest Ph.D programmes.
Academic collaboration provides unique opportunities for the Gospel to be shared.