Answering all the rumors about the establishment of the governance course in universities and explaining its functions
According to the reporter of Fars News Agency University Group, a few days ago, at the Exalted Governance Conference of Khorasan Razavi, which was attended by a group of experts, researchers and officials, managers of the executive bodies of the province, senior and influential managers in the field of Exalted Governance in the Sheikh Tabarsi Hall of the Astan Qods Razavi Islamic Research Foundation was held. Hasan Bakhtiari, the head of Shahid Beheshti School of Governance, who was the head of the governance working group of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, spoke about the field of governance in universities, which attracted the attention of academics, especially experts in this field.
Bakhtiari had said that so far, no course for teaching in any of the universities in the field of governance has been examined by the working group of the Ministry of Science, let alone approved by the Council for the Development of Higher Education.
The head of the governance working group of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology also denied any claim by the university officials regarding the approval of governance fields.
But what is the field of governance? Governance is an interdisciplinary subject, between different scientific branches that especially management candidates who study in this field in different institutions so that in addition to expertise in their own field, they also have knowledge and expertise in management.
since we had previously heard news about teaching of subjects related to governance in some universities, they are denied now. To get more information about this matter, we talked to Hassan Bakhtiari, the head of the governance working group of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology and the Dean of Shahid Beheshti School of Governance.
* The process of approving a university course in higher education institutions and universities
Fars: First, explain the approval process of governance in universities.
Bakhtiari: According to the current method established in the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, if a university proposes to create a university course in governance, it must, like other courses, first prepare the course curriculum, which includes the course content and topics and send them to the relevant working group in the Ministry of Science, if the planning council sends this field to the working group, this program must first be reviewed in the relevant specialized working group, if it is approved by the working group, then it goes to the Supreme Council for the Development of Higher Education for approval, and if it is approved by the working group, then it goes to the Supreme Development for approval. If it is approved, then it can be said that that field has been approved for teaching at the proposing university; This is the process of approving all higher education courses, including governance course.
* So far, no fields of study have been approved in the field of governance in any university
Fars: With these interpretations, how many universities have applied and proposed to start the field of governance so far?
Bakhtiari: Based on the process of approving the establishment of a field in universities that I presented to you, in the Ministry of Science, like other fields, there is also a working group for the field of governance, which is my responsibility. Until now, as I am talking to you, there is no field or chapter in the field of governance in this working group has not even been examined, let alone approved by the Council for the Development of Higher Education.
* Any individual's claim to start a governance course in universities is denied
Fars: But according to the news, the officials of several universities claimed that the discipline and branches related to governance have been started in their universities.
Bakhtiari: No, the claims about the approval of the field of governance, which may have been made by the officials of one or more universities, are not confirmed by the working group of the field of governance of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, and it can even be said explicitly that any claim that had been made by anyone is denied.
I clearly say that the field of governance for being taught in any university has not been approved by the Supreme Council for the Development of Higher Education up to now.
* No university has admitted any students to study governance So far
Fars: Since the university officials that have made such a claim are from prestigious universities, if a student is admitted to study this field, what should they do?
Bakhtiari: I definitely tell you that no university has admitted any students to study at higher education levels, including bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees.
If some universities or colleges or research institutes hold courses in the field of governance, they have nothing to do with courses presented by the Ministry of Science; they are just open courses.
Fars: Does it mean that the degrees of these courses are not accepted as bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees?
Bakhtiari: Yes, you are right, the degree of these courses is only issued for passing an open educational course.
Of course, according to our knowledge, no university has claimed to have accepted a governance student for higher education, but even if this is the case, they are not offered a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree.
* Submitting an application to the working group is not a sign of the course approval
Of course, one of the universities has submitted a request to the working group to start a governance course, but submitting the request to the working group does not mean the course is approved, but the working group must first review the request and proposal of the university based on the curriculum content and the subject of the courses provided, if the request is approved, the governance working group is appointed, then the request goes to the Higher Education Development Council, and if it is approved by this council as well, then the university officials can claim that the governance field has been started in that university and admits students for this field.
During the past few days, members of the working group and I have seen such claims in the media, I clearly say that no discipline in the Higher Education has been approved so far in the field of governance.
There is only one field of study in governance at the doctoral level enacted by the Higher Education Development Council. It is only presented in Shahid Beheshti School of Governance, i.e. only this field in the country has been enacted by the Higher Education Development Council, which also dates to 2019, and not even a single course in this field has been ever enacted since then.
We hope that our friends who intend to establish a course in the field of governance will deal with patiently. Considering the special sensitivities that exist in the society in the field of governance, I request all the presidents of universities and research centers who wish to start a course in governance not to provide the scientific community of the country with imprecise information and allow the governance working group of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology to review the requests in this regard according to its own legal procedures, and after the legal procedures have been passed, if they receive the permission from the Higher Education Development Council, then they can start the field and admit students.
Fars: Will you also talk about the governance working group of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology? Was this working group in the previous governments?
Bakhtiari: No, this working group was formed in the second half of 2020.
Fars: So, the universities haven't had much time to submit their requests yet.
Bakhtiari: Yes, some universities that wanted to start a governance course have established a research institute or faculty to submit their request later, which I will not go into right now.
* What is the function of governance field of study?
Fars: According to the sensitivities you mentioned about the field of governance, explain the functions of governance field of study. We are going to give information to the candidates of this field so that they know what a graduate of the field of governance will do in the future.
Bakhtiari: You see, this field is very broad, but I will give a brief explanation at this time. In the higher education system, we have specialized courses that are considered PhD. Ones. These fields of study attract students with two goals.
One of these goals is to train researchers to produce and reproduce science and knowledge and develop science in the specialized areas of that field, and the other is to train university professors and faculty members to teach courses in the relevant specialized fields. So, in the existing PhD courses, the main tendency is based on these two functions, and its output is a university professor and a researcher. Therefore, people who graduate from PhD courses should mainly become university professors or researchers in that specialized field, but in our country, for high-level management and governance positions, We need the people who, in addition to having the knowledge in a specialized field, also know the knowledge and management skills and the administrative knowledge and skills required by the specialized institutions of that scientific field in order to handle the affairs of that institution.
Fars: If possible, give an example in this field to make the matter clearer.
Bakhtiari: For example, in the field of health, we have many specialized medical fields, but a person who is a neurosurgeon has his special knowledge and skills in the field of neurosurgery, but if the same person he wants to be a manager in the field of neurosurgery management, for example, if he wants to work as a minister, deputy minister, general manager or head of an office, in addition to having knowledge and skills in the field of health and neurosurgery, he must also have management knowledge and skills in order to be able to manage the organization under his management appropriately. This person must have strategic thinking, he must have knowledge and management skills, and because these people, on whom we place the title of ruler, any decision, speech and their behavior is influential at the national level. They must be familiar with national power, national interests and national security and the knowledge about them. These people should also know the issues of neurosurgery.
Therefore, in the fields of governance, we seek that if people want to do managerial work at the top levels of the country, they should study an interdisciplinary field called governance, so that they know the knowledge and management skills, as well.
Fars: Is this field of study in the humanities department?
Bakhtiari: Yes, the field of governance is the field of humanities, but because the manifestation of governance is in various specialized fields such as economics, health, agriculture, industry, mining, and all fields, it takes its specialized form. For example, it turns to economic governance, or the governance of health or, the governance of agriculture and so on.
Fars: Is this field taught in other countries too?
Bakhtiari: Yes, the field of governance is taught in other countries, especially advanced countries, and they hold various courses in this field, of course, these governance courses are both at university and non-university levels.
We currently hold one-year governance courses at Shahid Beheshti School of Governance, and 70% of our students hold PhD degrees, that is, they have PhDs in other fields such as civil engineering, mechanics, physics, chemistry, etc. But in order to be able to do managerial work in the executive bodies, they do a one-year course of governance in Shahid Beheshti School of Governance so that they can handle their managerial duties in the executive bodies well.