July 31, 2015
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Temple University - Globalization and Development Communication Program University of Southern California - Global Ed.D. Program
Reinventing Academic Ties
Opportunities for U.S.-Iran Higher Education Cooperation

The warming of diplomatic relations with Iran marks the beginning of a new era of potential cooperation between higher education institutions in the United States and Iran. After decades of limited academic ties, institutions in both countries are eager to renew relationships and initiate new ones. The Institute of International Education is supporting increased U.S.-Iran academic cooperation by launching the IIE Iran Higher Education Initiative, which includes this white paper, a series of national conference calls, workshops, and a delegation to Iran in June 2015. This briefing paper provides an overview of the potential areas where institutions in the United States and Iran might initiate new linkages and includes an FAQ section on current OFAC regulations*. Other key areas covered in this white paper include:
  • A Snapshot of Iranian Higher Education
  • The Current State of U.S.-Iran Academic Exchange
  • Potential Areas for New Academic Relations
  • Rules and Regulations: Frequently Asked Questions about the Impact on U.S. Educational Institutions of U.S. Sanctions and Export Controls
This briefing paper also includes a number of helpful appendices, such as a sample memorandum of understanding from an Iranian university and brief profiles of Iranian institutions. This paper seeks to encourage more U.S. higher education institutions to explore and expand academic relationships with Iranian counterparts by providing timely, first-hand information about exchange opportunities, current scholarship programs, effective partnership models, and specific disciplines that would be particularly promising for U.S.-Iran academic cooperation.

*The OFAC FAQ section of this paper was prepared by Nicholas Townsend, Counsel in Arnold & Porter LLP's National Security and Public Policy practices. www.arnoldporter.com

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The revised and expanded IIE report, "What International Students Think About U.S. Higher Education: Attitudes and Perceptions of Prospective Students From Around the World," examines the attitudes and perceptions that international students who are considering studying in the United States have of U.S. higher education and other key study destinations around the world. This version compiles the findings from a 19-country survey into one document, along with a global overview of the nearly 16,000 responses IIE received worldwide. It was produced with the support of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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IIE’s Clare Banks and Daniel Obst write about the history of international educational engagement and ways that universities are benefiting from each other on the world stage. "What is different today is the increasing pressure to invest in mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships," write Banks and Obst. "Today’s partners focus on strategy, intentionality, and results; often needing expert guidance in navigating this new playing field." This post is an excerpt from the complete article, published in EAIE’s Forum magazine.

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