An Iranian lawmaker says many university professors have applied for retirement or are planning to leave the country amid economic hardships.
Reformist member of Parliament from Tabriz Massoud Pezeshkian told ILNA on Wednesday that despite the call by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to boost innovation, nothing special will happen in academia until authorities change their views and perspectives.
Khamenei designated the new Iranian calendar year of 1401 (started on March 21) as the year of knowledge-based productivity and job creation.
Khamenei has been designating slogans for each year in the past decade, such as “Leap in Production” and this year his motto became innovation and knowledge based economic growth.
Officials will face an uphill battle implementing this slogan because most of the things that the parliament has approved are not practical or science-based and would further restrict universities in innovation and employment, Pezeshkian noted.
Pezeshkian added that when the parliament, the presidential administration and the judiciary choose private sector contractors for projects, you cannot encourage the academics to stay in the government universities to boost efforts with the same salary.
In addition to all this, universities are also firing many of professors in what critics see as further political cleansing of academia.
Iran’s Azad University has fired 325 professors and lecturers in recent months and has decided to dismiss 1,500 more.