Iran’s Islamic Azad University is to establish branches is several countries, including Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
Damascus has given the green light to Iran’s proposal to establish branches of the Islamic Azad University in Syria, said Ali-Akbar Velayati, the head of the Board of Founders and Board of Trustees of the IAU.
“In a letter to [Syrian President] Bashar Assad, I announced that the Islamic Azad University is prepared to establish branches [in Syria] and he issued an order to establish branches of the Islamic Azad University in all Syrian cities,” Velayati said, as quoted by the Persian-language E’temad Online website.
Velayati said Islamic Azad University branches have been successful in different countries.
“[Students at] Different universities in Western countries are witnessing Iran’s growing power, and, hence, are seeking to learn the Persian language and literature as well as the Shiite and Islamic culture,” he noted.
Velayati also touched upon his recent meeting with Sheikh Humam Hamoudi, the head of Iraq’s Islamic Supreme Council, saying the Iraqi official welcomed the idea of the Islamic Azad University opening branches in his country.
The Iranian official also said he expressed the university’s readiness to open branches in Lebanon in a meeting with Secretary General of the Lebanese Hezbollah Movement Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah.
Velayati said Iran not only helps neighbouring and Islamic countries maintain their security, but also denies them no assistance to help promote Islamic, native and regional culture and shares with them its accomplishments in the field of science and technology.
The Islamic Azad University is a private university system in Iran, and one of the largest comprehensive systems of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the world.
Last year, the total number of enrolment in IAU branches was 1,620,000, which makes it the world’s fifth biggest universities in terms of enrolment.