Some 70 percent of applicants to dental schools in Iran last year gained admission through an unfair quota system which excluded more deserving candidates who had passed their entrance exams, according to Bashir Khaleghi, a member of the Health Committee of the Majlis (Iranian Parliament).
“Unfortunately, we have seen many cases of people who have studied for a short time at unaccredited foreign institutions gaining admission to dental schools in Iran by circumventing the law,” Mr. Khaleghi was quoted by the semiofficial Fars news agency as saying. “Our investigations have shown that some of these students are children of faculty members at various universities. The ministries of health and education must deal with the injustices committed against those students who deserve to study at universities based on merit.”
“According to our findings, 70 percent of students used a quota system to gain admission to dental schools last year, which deprived the more deserving students of the opportunity to study at universities,” Khaleghi, who represents Khalkhal and Kowsar (in the northwestern province of Ardabil) added. “Increasing the number of enrolments in medical schools will not solve the problem, because It will only result in a larger number of children of faculty members to gain admission to universities.”
Khaleghi noted: “Our research has shown that 1,600 Iranian students were studying in Ukraine last year, some of whom might try to gain admission to universities after returning home by bypassing the law. The Majlis will do its utmost to stop scammers who peddle these illegal schemes.”
Last month, the Iranian media reported the arrest of a 23-year girl who had allegedly paid thousands of dollars to gain admission to the Shahid Beheshti University of the Medical Sciences School of Dentistry. The university administrators, however, vehemently denied that the girl was a legitimate student at the dental school.
“The officials at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences denied that the girl was a student at the school of dentistry, insisting that their administration had no record of her ever being enrolled in the university,” the Iran daily reported. “Several Majlis deputies have, however, said the problem was endemic and systematic.”
“The fake student at the Shahid Beheshti University of the Medical Sciences School of Dentistry has no organizational, research, educational, or academic ties to the university,” said Kiyanoush Jahanpour, the director of communication at the Ministry of Health and Medical Educations.
“Initial investigations have revealed that the person used a fake name and had no connection as a student to the university. She has no academic record,” Mr. Jahanpour was quoted by the Tasnim news agency as saying. “The Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences has officially filed a complaint against the fake student. We hope future investigations will identify and expose people involved in selling fake IDs.
In an interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) TV News Channel, Doctor Mohsen Dalband, the dean of the School of Dentistry at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, said: “No school records show that she ever enrolled and registered as a student in the university.”
In comments reported by the daily Etemad, Mahmoud Sadeghi, a member of the Majlis’ Education and Research Committee, said: “The Ministry of Health and Medical Education has foiled a scheme by corrupt elements which have been trying to enroll fake students in some medical schools.”
Asked about the illegal sale of admission to medical schools, Mr. Sadeghi, who represents Tehran, Rey, Shemiranat, and Iranshahr in the Majlis, said: “I raised the issue with the authorities last year. I am certain that the Health Ministry has been dealing with it.”
“Some corrupt elements enroll fake students in medical schools, which amounts to selling places in universities,” Sadeghi added. “The Health Ministry will stop this. We want to put an end to this corrupt business.”
[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]