Varsity Admissions Sans Entrance Exams Increase

Varsity Admissions Sans Entrance Exams IncreaseVarsity Admissions Sans Entrance Exams Increase

The rate of university admissions outside the national university entrance exam, or Konkoor, has gone up since September 2013, deputy minister of science, research, and technology Ebrahim Khodaei said.

A bill on university admission assessment was passed by the Majlis in 2008 which stipulated that 85% of higher education centers admit students based on their high school records for a five-year trial period. The bill came into effect as of September 2013, he said, quoted by IRNA.

“Admission based on high school GPA (general point average) is not fair since over 40,000 students have nearly perfect GPAs and a person with a slightly lower GPA will never have the chance to study majors that require high scores in ‘Konkoor’ like in medicine,” Khodaei said, adding that the university entrance exam is a process that has “yet to fulfill higher educational goals and needs amendments.”

The national university entrance exam is supposed to achieve “social justice” by offering an advantageous opportunity with “security, accuracy and consistency” where all applicants have “an equal chance” of getting in.

 Competition Fierce

However, the current admission system to universities not only remains an impediment to equal education access but has also taken a toll on the entire education system. The 12-year academic fate of a student is decided during a three-hour exam. Ensuring university acceptance is the only aim pursued by schools these days and other key aspects of education such as social, political, environmental, economic, and aesthetics are forgotten since the ‘Konkoor’ competition is so fierce.

He said personal interests and aptitude of students must be taken into account in entrance exams along with applying proper standards of scoring.  Students should be able to retake ‘Konkoor in monthly intervals to get into their major interest of study or university of choice, he added.

Criticizing the current university admission system, Zahra Gooya, a teacher at Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran, believes general education is “a right” and higher education “a privilege”, and referred to universities around the world, namely in China and Singapore, where seats “are not sold but open for deserving students.”

According to her, cramming up for the exams in different subjects, that are reviewed “within three hours is not and should not be the purpose of education.”

Also criticizing the admission system, Ali Rejali, instructor at Technical University of Isfahan, said a large number of university graduates lack professional work skills, and stressed “there should be less pressure on achieving higher academic levels and more focus on training students in practical and professional areas.” He urged the social media as well as officials to educate people against their “obsession with degrees.”

He also noted that when a university teacher is not in charge of admitting students to Ph.D, they do not feel responsible for properly training them. “The purpose of the ministry of education in this field is undefined. There is no better judge than a university teacher to evaluate students.”

Noting that Iran has an outstanding number of scientific geniuses who deserve “comprehensive assessment exams” to continue education at the higher levels, Majlis official Reza Saberi said education is a continuous process that requires continuous assessment.”People are concerned and disoriented in this regard, and providing them with a just education system should be the national goal,” he said.