Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani:

The Islamic Azad University has grown into a Great, Fruitful Tree

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 19:55

The head of board of founders of the Islamic Azad University has stated that the IAU was a rare phenomenon that is still developing after 35 years.

According to ISCA (Iran Student Correspondents Association), Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani expressed his high spirits at being present among the heads of IAU’s branches in the 70th IAU’s Central Council Meeting, and opened his remarks with the fact that anything that begins with pure, sincere goals will be supported by God.

The president of the Expediency Discernment Council explained that IAU was created 35 years ago as a response to major shortcomings in higher education, such as lack of funding, social demand, and shortage of universities in the country. “A conversation between Dr. Jassbi and I sparked a thought. We came to the conclusion that in the face of the lack of facilities, we can make use of literate, educated personnel and cultural venues like Hussainias and mosques. On the other hand why not create some space where demands are so high?”

Reminiscing about the shortcomings at the onset of establishing the university, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani explained that after consulting with the late Imam Khomeini, the Former Supreme Leader of Iran immediately welcomed the initiative and donated one million Iranian tomans to cover its administrative costs.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani likened the Islamic Azad University to a great, overarching tree with many fruits and far-reaching branches which are now in almost every home. He emphasized that sincerity and pure, noble intent is the primary condition of institutionalization: “this university has no financial benefit for its founders. None of us have a margin or share in this university. The sole objective in opening the IAU has been to fulfill the needs of the people by relying on themselves.”

He also mentioned the benefactors, members of parliament, and governors who stood by the university in its early days and were the pioneers in launching a branch in their region, and that "All of these constructive achievements came about with God and the good of His people in mind, and with the aim of developing knowledge and allowing for the progress of the country.

The president of Expediency Discernment Council pointed to IAU’s 50% contribution to national higher education and iterated that this capacity has been built by IAU without receiving any budget from the state. The current objectives of the university are in line with national interests, such as environmental protection, safe waste disposal and the conservation and improvement of the state of water.

In closing, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani stated that the face of IAU will become better known to the world following the lifting of sanctions, and that even now, shortly after the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), many countries have expressed their interest in academic cooperation with with IAU. He also noted that 11 thousand laboratories have been set up and are running for low-cost research project implementation.

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