TEHRAN — The Ministry of Education will open a virtual school for Iranian students residing in other countries, IRNA reported on Sunday.
Some Iranians live in regions where there are no schools for them, said Mehdi Fayyazi, head of the education ministry’s center for international affairs and students abroad.
Students benefit from this virtual system and can continue their educational programs both online and offline, he added.
Around 8,500 Iranian students are currently studying in 76 schools in other countries, he said, noting that 1,006 teachers were working in the schools.
About 108,000 students from 117 countries have enrolled in Iranian universities for the current academic year (starting September 23), said Mohammad Mohammadi Masoudi, an official with the Ministry of Science.
According to unofficial statistics, more than 300,000 Iranian students are studying abroad, each of which is an opportunity for the country, he said.
According to official statistics, more than 95,000 Iranians study in different countries, with most studying in the US, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Canada, Malaysia, England, Russia, Australia, Hungary, Cyprus and France.
Iran is among the top 15 successful countries in attracting international students, according to Mohammad Javad Salmanpour, deputy head of the student affairs organization.
Around 8,500 Iranian students are currently studying at 76 schools abroad.
The education of foreign students in Iran has grown significantly compared to previous years, even doubling in the past year, he said.
However, it is far from the desired position; Because Iranian universities have in every respect higher capacities than the universities of regional or European countries, he noted.
Iran has the ability and capacity to host more than 250,000 foreign students by 2026, he said.
Almost 100,000 foreigners are currently studying in Iran, more than 90 percent of them from Iraq and Afghanistan, the rest from other countries.
These students study in various fields of science, research and technology, health and medical education, as well as humanities, Islamic studies, Persian language and literature, law, fundamentals of Islamic law, management fields, economics, psychology, social sciences and engineering, agricultural sciences, Animal Sciences and Basic Sciences.
Currently, foreign nationals make up 1.64 percent of the country’s student population, about 0.14 percent more than the target of the sixth five-year National Development Plan (2016-2021), Salmanpour said in April.
25 percent of foreign students studying in Iranian universities are Afghan nationals, he added.
Afghan students enter Iranian universities in three ways; Some enter university by sitting Iran’s national entrance exam, and others gain admission from universities that have non-Iranian student licenses. The third group also visited the country’s universities through scholarships, he explained.
Health insurance coverage, longer stays, shorter visa processing times, and awarding exemplary students are among the conditions for foreign nationals to study in Iran.