A planning model for expansion and stagnation of higher education in Iran.
AbstractIran universities of medical sciences have experienced a period of expansion in past decades. Now previous concerns are alleviated, and the former quantity-based policy has given a way to a more quality-seeking attitude. In this study, we developed a planning model for expansion and stagnation of higher education in Iranian universities of medical sciences based on workforce requirements of the country and capabilities of the universities. The plan provided an objectively documented base for the authorities to decide on developmental limits of universities. We devised guidelines for justifying existing programs within universities, assigning new undergraduate and postgraduate programs to universities, voluntary request of universities to cancel a program, and their request to offer new programs for the first time in the country, based on three factors: university educational status, each university-program educational status and the nation's need for each discipline. Related councils of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education legitimately approved the plan and guidelines. In this article, we introduced the methodology of developing the plan, described it and its related guidelines and discussed challenges and limitations we encountered in design and application phases.
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