The Inauguration of Tehran University

  March 07, 2022   Read time 1 min
The Inauguration of Tehran University
The building operations began in April 1934; in January 1935 the first building was completed. On 4 February 1935 the shah visited the new building and affixed a commemorative plaque, an act of state in the presence of many high-ranking officials and statesmen which is commonly interpreted as the inauguration of the university.

The ex-prime minister and educationalist Mehdi Qoli Hedayat, who was present at the ceremony, is said to have compared the historical importance of this event with the beginning of the railway construction in Iran and to have thanked God for the ability to see this day. In reality, the foundation of the University of Tehran was not the creation of a completely new institution, but merely the merging of five pre-existing institutions with the newly established Faculty of Engineering under a common administration.

These already existing institutions were: the College of Law (established 1919 and merged with the College of Political Science, founded in 1899), which became the Faculty of Law and Political Science; the Faculty of Medicine (launched in 1918); the Faculty of Letters and the Faculty of Science, which had evolved out of the Teachers College (established in 1929); and the Faculty of Islamic Studies, which by some is regarded as a new creation, but, to my mind, should be considered as a continuation of the Madreseh-ye Sepahsalar, which had been placed under the control of the Ministry of Education in 1931 and was gradually reshaped into a modern institution of higher education.

The enrollment for the first academic year had already taken place in September 1934 and teaching officially started in November when the university campus was still a huge construction site. Courses were taught in the locations of the former institutions of higher education which now had become part of the university. In the academic year 1936/37 still not a single faculty had moved into the new campus.50 Since the construction work continued very slowly it took years before the faculties moved in, one after the other. The modern institutions of higher education which had existed for up to 30 years continued for quite a while to preserve a life of their own under the common roof of the university.

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