What is The Attracting More as A Students

Historically, Iran has been anything but a booming higher education market. Why? Because opportunities were largely limited to an elite subset of rich, connected or academically extraordinary students. Over the past decade, however, this trend has dramatically reversed in direction. In fact, education today in Iran is rigorously equal opportunity for the nation’s students, with rising potential for international students, as well. Let’s take a closer look at the transformation of Iran’s education system, along with why so many students are heeding the call of this emerging player on the higher education scene.

A Look Back

A scant decade ago, a climate of higher education inclusivity in Iran was far from the reality. In fact, nearly 2.5 million high school age students in Iran were not even enrolled in high school, according to The Washington Post. Those who were, meanwhile, were in the right grade less than 50 percent of the time. Given that the university system during that time period accepted a mere 10 percent of applicants, it’s hardly surprising that many students opted out of college for the more attainable labor market.

The 2005 to 2013 administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saw rapid change. By the conclusion of his term, more than a million university spots were available, largely due to a rise in part-time and distance-learning offerings. Now, according to Washington Post reporter Shervin Malekzadeh, “For the first time in Iran’s modern history, anyone who is willing to pay can go to university.”

A Dynamic Present

According to Malekzadeh, “As participation in post-secondary education has become commonplace, what was once an exception reserved for the extraordinary has become an expectation for all. Universal access to higher education has transformed the experience of going to university and those who attend, into the ordinary.”

In  particular, the rapid expansion of two schools alone — the public Payame Noor University (PNU) and the private Payame Noor University (PNU) — has had a transformative effect on Iran’s higher education landscape: Both universities currently enroll more than a million students each.

The opening of these doors is particularly relevant at a time when Iran’s population is remarkably young. Of its 80.8 million people, 24 percent are between the ages of zero and 14, 19 percent are between the ages of 15 and 24, and 46 percent are between the ages of 25 and 54. The 55 and over set, meanwhile, make up just 11.5 percent of the country’s population.

Couple the ripeness of the population with growing opportunities, and university enrollments reached a record-high of 4.4 million in 2014. It follows that demand for advanced studies is also expected to climb in the near future.

And while there are some growing pains associated with this kind of meteoric growth, the majority of Iranians now not only see the value of a degree, but also see it within their own reach. In fact, Iranian parents fork over more than $3 billion annual for higher education for their kids — opportunities they themselves most likely never had.

In fact, according to a brief from Brandeis University’s Nader Habibi, Iran is producing university graduates at a faster rate than any other Middle Eastern country. Equally as noteworthy? The majority — a full 60 percent — are women.

The International Scene

But interest in the Iranian higher education system is not just limited to Iranians thanks to President Hassan Rouhani’s favorable viewpoint of international mobility. Not only has Rouhani lifted several restrictions while supporting international academic collaboration, but the easing of sanctions is now allowing American and Iranian colleges to partner with each other.

Last summer, the Institute of International Education (IIE) sent a delegate of U.S. representatives to visit Iran’s universities and research centers. Said IIE CEO and president Allan E. Goodman,

Credit: TK Danesh InstituteImage courtesy of TK Danesh Institute

“One by one, there is already since President Rouhani’s election a flow of academic exchange that hasn’t existed for 30 years.” Goodman went on to say that with faculty members already commencing travel to Iran, it’s only a matter of time before opportunities for students also arise.

Outbound exchange is also picking up after the past decade of economic and diplomatic sanctions. Today, estimates put the number of Iranians studying abroad somewhere between 50,000 and 80,000, with Europe, the UK and the US in particular demand, according to a report from TK Danesh Institute Managing Director Soheyl M. Ahmadi. At the Master’s and Ph.D. levels, meanwhile, Malaysia claimed the top destination spot, followed by the US, Canada, Germany and the UK.

While Iran is well on its way to achieving its official goal of having 60 percent of its college-age population enrolled in some kind of higher education by 2025, the potential impact is far from limited to domestic outcomes. Between its expanded capacity, ongoing demand, and new global perspective, Iran is well-positioned to take on a greater role in international markets in the years ahead.

Professional Studies

Master’s degrees are increasingly common – a report published in 2015 predicted that by 2022, at least 60% of all awarded degrees will be at the master’s level. But the same report also indicated that the growth may not come from traditional master’s programs. Instead, the rise in MPS, or Master’s of Professional Studies degrees, could be the biggest contributor to the increased number of post-graduates. But what is an MPS?

Unlike a traditional MA or MS, which focus on broad knowledge in a research subject, MPS degrees are typically interdisciplinary studies aimed at a particular industry or applied field of study. MPS degrees are also more ‘hands-on’ than other master’s programs and frequently require some form of internship or work-study. Schools around the world are seeing a spike in applications for and interest in MPS degrees because of the demands of the increasingly diversified and specialized job market. MPS in subjects like emergency management, international relations, cybernetics, and human rights all give students skills that apply directly to gaps in established career-fields and expertise for emerging industries. And while undergraduates can transition directly into MPS programs, they are frequently geared towards professionals who want to develop or change their careers. This makes MPS programs more flexible than other traditional master’s degrees. So how can an MPS help you? Here are three good reasons.

1. They’re practical

While traditional master’s programs will give you a solid understanding of theories and excellent research skills, an MPS focuses on practical skills that apply directly to a specific job. This means they’re a great option for someone who knows precisely the career field, job, or even department they hope to enter. A traditional MA or MS is great if you’re hoping to earn a PhD, but an MPS is better if you want career advancement in a marketing firm, or to jump into an emerging technological industry. MPS degrees are also a great way to make a general BA or BS degree work in a specific field – for instance, if you majored in history, consider an MPS in Museum Studies.

2. They’re flexible and focused

Because MPS students tend to be established professionals hoping to climb the career ladder or change professions, MPS studies are often very flexible. They cater to working professionals and frequently offer online or evening courses. Instructors are usually professionals in the specific field, so classes and coursework can give opportunities for networking, hands-on experience, and even job opportunities. And since MPS programs are designed around specific skill-sets, most include some form of field work, which gives you the opportunity to test-drive your new skills and focus on areas that apply to your interests and strengths.

All About Study Engineering in France

images-23When you think of countries with top engineering programs, China, the US and Switzerland may be the first to come to mind. However, plenty of other nations offer premiere engineering opportunities with allures of their own. One destination topping the list for engineers in search of an international education?  France. Let’s take a closer look at four top reasons to consider France for your engineering studies.

  1. Engineering Degrees Are Highly Esteemed

French engineering programs are well-known for their rigorous curricula aimed at positioning graduates for successful careers following graduation. France’s selective Grandes Ecoles d’Ingénieur fuse advanced theoretical concepts with practical applications, such as small workshop sessions and paid internships. They also integrate business training, foreign language study, and communication skills, all teaching Diplôme d’Ingénieur recipients to deliver creative solutions to some of today’s most complex challenges.

Standing behind today’s French engineering degrees is The Engineering Title Committee (CTI), the monitoring body tasked with ensuring the ongoing excellence of the country’s engineering education system.

2. Learn In a Culture of Ages-Old Engineering Innovation

Need more proof of the strength of French engineering programs and the capabilities of their grads? Just take a quick look at the country’s legacy of engineering innovation, starting with the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse or “high-speed train”). World record holder for speed, the TGV is considered to be a technological marvel for its combination of performance, comfort, and commitment to eco-mobility.

And the TGV is hardly alone. The 17th century, 150-mile Canal du Midi which spans from Toulouse to the port of Sète in the Mediterranean is so extraordinary in both vision and execution that it’s earned Unesco World Heritage Site status.

And of course no discussion of feats of European engineering is complete without mention of the Eurotunnel. A joint project of France and the UK, the Channel Tunnel took more than 13,000 workers and five years to complete, and has since been declared to be one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

What do each of these have in common aside from their impressive engineering schemes? They were considered unthinkable until French engineers put their minds to the task. In fact, France recently topped all other European countries for innovation based on Thomson-Reuters’ roundup of the “Top 100 Global Innovators.” With the world facing so many challenges ahead, these past accomplishments speak to the potential of French-educated engineers to make a profound difference in society.

3. The French Language Adds Value

While the importance of knowing English is widely touted, the value of bilingualism is often understated. But as globalization continues to break down conventional barriers to communication, knowledge of a second or more language adds irrefutable value.

In addition to enhancing a student’s ability to communicate, studying French also affords students otherwise unattainable access to understanding French culture and context. These cross-cultural capabilities serve graduates well — both when working alongside other French speakers as well as when communicating with other international students, as well.

In short, adaptability is a “must-have” attribute in today’s complex economic landscape, and amplifying your ability to communicate goes a long way.

  4. It IS France, After All

Mere mention of the word “France” makes most people swoon. While engineering programs are indeed demanding, you won’t spend all your time studying. When you’re not hitting the books, France offers an abundance of unforgettable things to see and do and taste and discover.

And while Paris may get all the buzz, there are plenty of other phenomenal French cities for international students, such as the European metropolis of Lyon. A major technological, industrial and economic hub, Lyon plays host to an impressive network of engineering schools.

Take the Institut Polytechnique de Lyon, for example. This coalition of 4 French “Grandes Ecoles” of Engineering, including CPE Lyon, ECAM Lyon, ISARA Lyon, and ITECH Lyon,  draws students from all over France and around the globe. Each offers different areas of specialization under the umbrella of the Université de Lyon’s research and higher educational center.

India on study tips

India’s Prime Minister’s office recently asked the country’s human resource development ministry to accelerate plans for setting up 10 new private universities aimed at offering students new options for research and innovation across disciplines including information and technology, medicine, agriculture and biotechnology, according to a recent report from the Hindustan Times.  Based on leading US institutions like Stanford and Princeton, the proposed universities will be modern in infrastructure with the potential to further establish India as a world leader in the arena of international education.

With so much progress underway in the world’s most populous democracy, you may be wondering whether studying in India can help you reach your own academic goals. Let’s count down the top six reasons to choose India as your international study destination.

1. Its Universities Are Well-Ranked…and Climbing

If you’re considering studies in engineering and technology,  in particular, the quality of India’s offerings in these areas are particularly impressive  — known for their constant pursuit of teaching excellence and boundary-pushing research.

But India’s offerings are far from limited to these fields of studies. From politics to philosophy and biology to business there’s something for everyone in India’s massive higher education system. Which brings us to our next point.

2. It’s Home to the World’s Second-Largest Higher Education System

What do you get when you combine 343 universities and 17,000 colleges? The second-largest education system on the planet. Comprising bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, the vastness of the Indian higher education system and its global network of students and faculty directly translates to increased diversity and enhanced opportunities for both academic and personal enrichment.

3. Unique Courses Abound

India’s higher education system isn’t just vast in size; it’s also vast in academic offerings. The country’s rich past and vibrant future mean a breadth and depth of courses are available — from the classic to the cutting edge. In addition to being exposed to the latest frontiers of science and technology, students also have access to traditional subjects, such as Ayurveda, Sanskrit and Hindi.

  4. It’s Affordable

Compared to many of the world’s finest institutions, India’s low cost of education is a bargain. Additionally, various scholarship, loan, and financial schemes are available to offset the cost. But it’s not just less expensive tuition fees which make studying in English a smart financial choice. The cost of living in India is also budget-friendly. How much so? According to Numbeo, rents in the US and UK are 509 percent and 456 percent higher, respectively, than in India.

 5. It’s Diversity Extends Beyond Academia

If your goal is to see the world, a visit to India is an amazing start. This large country offers incredible things to see and do — from the mountains of the Himalayas to remarkable scenic — and often undiscovered — beaches like Goa, Lakshadweep and Andamans.

When it comes to hospitality, meanwhile, Indians can’t be beat. Where else can you find a popular saying insisting “Athithi Devo Bhava” or “the guest is God.” Factor in opportunities to explore your spirituality, magnificent history and architecture, mouthwatering cuisine and extraordinary shopping, and the list of reasons to visit India continues to grow.

Woried about culture shock? Indeed, it’s a fact of life when traveling to a new country. However, the benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone are far outweighed by the temporary period of adjustment.

What do you think when study in Iceland

images-22Iceland may be small and sparsely populated (just 320,000 people live here), but it packs a massive amount of amazingness into its 103,000 square kilometers. Black-sand beaches, breathtaking cliffs, imposing white glaciers and fjords for days are just a few of the many reasons tourists flock to Iceland every year. It’s no surprise that this Nordic island nation continues to earn top spots on “best of” destination lists from places like National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine and Lonely Planet.

But Iceland’s stunning scenery is far from the country’s only allure. It’s also home to an internationally celebrated higher education system. Let’s count down a few reasons why so many students from all over the world are drawn to “the land of fire and ice” for enriching and unforgettable study abroad experiences.

Read more about studying in Iceland.

1. It’s Incredibly Open

Let’s face it: you don’t go to college to close your mind to new things. If you’re looking to truly expand your horizons, there’s no better place than Iceland — home to one of the world’s most liberal populations thanks to pervasive commitment to gender equality, sexual and religious tolerance, and progressive laws.

In fact, Iceland recently claimed 4th place status in the Social Progress Index 2015 behind Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. Helping it earn this title? Support for personal rights, choice, tolerance, freedom and access to higher education, as well as its status as one of the globe’s most peaceful, ecologically sustainable places.

2. It Boasts a Rich and Dynamic History

The words “Vikings” and “boring” are mutually exclusive, but Iceland’s history is about much more than its medieval marauders. (And on that note, the Vikings themselves were about much more than medieval marauding.)

Whether you’re a political science or military history buff, fan of Old Norse sagas and contemporary Nordic crime lit, or an economic scholar, Iceland’s riveting history truly has something for everyone.

If you’re a believer in the supernatural, meanwhile, you’ll find yourself in good company in Iceland, where many locals believe in hidden elves and other mystical creatures.

Proud Icelanders celebrate their heritage with an abundance of local and national festivals meaning you’ll have plenty of opportunities to join in the fun while learning even more about Iceland’s fascinating past.

An added bonus? Due to its fusion of Nordic, European and North American cultures, most Icelanders speak at least two languages fluently, including English and Icelandic. Reykjavik is known as a popular international study location, with more than 5% of all students being international. Reykjavik University is located in the heart of capital and offers a variety of programs taught entirely in English.

3. Its Changing Landscapes Are Like No Other

Iceland’s Mid-Atlantic Ridge location makes it a truly unique destination any season of the year. Green open meadows, bubbling hot springs (Reykjavík translates to “smoky bay” in Icelandic), geothermal lakes, grand glaciers, brooding volcanoes, and crystalline fjords are just a few of the landscapes you can lay eyes on during your time in Iceland. And need we even mention those spectacular northern lights?

With such a breadth and depth of remarkable scenery, it’s not surprising that Iceland goes to such great lengths to preserve it, and is known as a world leader in conservation and sustainability management. Iceland is home to Europe’s largest national park, and  staggering 100 percent of its electricity derives from renewable sources. No wonder Iceland is such a popular destination for sustainability related programs, at Iceland School of Energy students can study Sustainable Energy programs and learn first hand about renewable energy technology and development. Or combine ecology, sociology, economics and business studies and consider a Master in Coastal and Marine Management at the University Centre of the Westfjords

And don’t get put off by the idea of snow: Iceland is renowned for its never ending summer. Schools like Bifrost Universityeven offer summer courses. They also offer various programs that will give you time to enjoy the landscape throughout the four seasons.

While Iceland is so beautiful that you may never want to leave, Europe’s second-largest island has yet another thing going for it: proximity. Not only is it a hop, skip and jump to other popular Scandinavian and continental European destinations, but it’s also close to the U.S. with abundant and affordable connecting flights.