Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 4
By Umid Niayesh, Saeed Isayev - Trend:
Iran's universities should prepare their students for political thinking, the country's president Hassan Rouhani said, Iranian state IRINN TV reported on Feb. 4.
Rouhani made the remarks while addressing heads of Iranian universities in Tehran.
The president slammed scholars of universities who treated students, depending on their political preferences.
"A university is not a center for parties or political wings," Rouhani said. "Tolerance and moderate atmosphere should be dominating in universities."
The president went on to add that proper research is not possible without free environment, adding that environment in universities should be safe, not security-based.
Rouhani criticized keeping down students and marking them due to their political interests and preferences.
In September 2006, a year after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election as president, a public controversy arose over allegations by some students that the Ministry of Science was depriving qualified applicants of admission to graduate and post-graduate studies on political, ideological and religious grounds.
"Universities should be free for making statements and criticizing," Rouhani said. "These are the places where people should think globally and act nationally."
The president said that research can't be useful if it's not implemented in the daily lives of people.
Rouhani went on to say that universities should grow people that will be able to resolve country's problems. He also noted that universities in the country should be connected with the work market.
Rouhani said that the government would like the universities to show Socratic courage.
Further speaking on Iran's nuclear deal, Rouhani said that the protests from Israel and other neighboring countries indicate that a big work has been done. The president asked scholars to support Iran's nuclear negotiating efforts.
"Why people with low literacy speak their minds openly, while scholars only make comments in private?," Rouhani asked, urging scholars to speak freely.
Speaking of internal conflicts, the president said that it is time to stop stand against each other because of some issues that have happened in the past, also asking the country's political groups to reconcile.
Rouhani also expressed his support for the minister of Science, Research and Technology, Faraji Dana, asking everyone to permit the ministry do its legal tasks.
Faraji Dana was under attacks by extremists due to his moderate policies. He was questioned in Iranian parliament in Nov. 2013. Some 150 MPs have issued a letter to Rouhani criticizing Faraji Dana`s appointments on Nov.6.
They stated that Faraji Dana`s appointments negatively affects the relations between government and the parliament, asking Rouhani to intervene in the issue.
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