Exploring the Future of Commercialization of Higher Education in the Islamic Republic of Iran; a Necessity or an Obligation

Document Type : Research Paper



The future world will bring different and diverse social and economic realities. Population growth in developing countries leads to this fact that funding sources and budget are divided among more people. The people's demands increase and, subsequently, the price of livelihoods, health, security, education and transport increases as well. Globally speaking, education is subject to this phenomenon. The university, as an institution of higher education, is an ever-changing reality. Despite the significant increase in the number of students applying in this sector, budget allocation to universities lags behind. On the other hand, the nature of this population is changing as well because more middle-aged student groups as well as ordinary students enter into this field. Regarding their diverse family status, living conditions, social and professional needs, time to respond to demands and geographical distance, these students have different needs that affect the structure and implementation of education. As such, higher education sector and those universities that are not actively and professionally involved in this inevitable change as well as those universities that do not have a scientific future studies and planning to face this reality will lose market share. There are evidence that indicate that universities and higher education institutions and private sector will share the opportunity of commercialization of higher education and take advantage of this new opportunity. The necessity and demand for continuous and everlasting learning provides a great profitable and economic opportunity and capacity for universities. Commercialization of higher education in Iran is faced with important and challenging uncertainties. Future studies can examine the commercialization of higher education via investigating the past as well as main changes, trends, indicators and emerging phenomena in this domain. Furthermore, alternative scenarios for the future of commercialization of higher education in Iran in an active confrontation with main environmental uncertainties will be identified thereof.