Islamic Azad University

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Islamic Azad University

دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی

Dāneshgāh-e Āzād-e Eslāmi
Azad University Tehran BC logo.png
Seal of Islamic Azad University
Motto آرمان ایرانی برای جهانی شدن (Persian)
Motto in English
Iranian Aspirations for Globalization
Established 1982
Type Private University System[1]
Endowment 140,955,000 USD[2]
President Hamid Mirzadeh
Academic staff
70,665 (Spring 2015)[2]
Students 1,636,000 (as of 2014) [2]
Undergraduates 1,136,000
Postgraduates 500,000
Campus 100+ campuses, colleges and centers under direct administration
Colours Dark and light Blue[3]         
Athletics Azad University of Tehran Basketball Club
Azad University of Tehran Cycling Club
Sports Azad University Giant Team
Nickname IAU
Affiliations Islamic Azad University System

The Islamic Azad University (IAU) (Persian: دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی‎, Dāneshgāh-e Āzād-e Eslāmi), commonly referred to as Azad University is a private university system in Iran. It is one of the largest comprehensive system of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the world.


Headquartered in Tehran, Iran, the Islamic Azad University is the world's third largest university was founded in 1982 and established by Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani,[4] currently has an enrollment of 1.6 million students,.[5][6] Azad University has over 100 branches across the country and also in other countries. It has branches and universities in U.A.E, United Kingdom and Lebanon.[7] Over the years, the university has accumulated assets estimated to be worth between $20–25 billion.[6] Islamic Azad University's activities quickly expanded throughout the country, so that today thousands of students are enrolling every year. Not relying on government funding, it receives charitable donations and charges tuition fees.[6]

The certificates issued by this university are recognized by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.[7] Azad University admits students through the National Wide Entrance Examination held by the National (Iranian) Organization of Educational Testing.

Endowment controversy[edit]

Iran's Supreme Leader has declared the financial endowment of Islamic Azad University to be "religiously illegitimate and unlawful", prompting a change within the administration of the institution.[8]


The Islamic Azad University has Twenty four district Zones , with over 100 in Iran, and 4 branches overseas, covers almost every subject in its curriculam and delivers huge flexibility and choice to its students. At present, the IAU system officially describes itself as a "100+ campus". These campuses are under the direct control of the Regents and President. Only ten best and famous campuses are listed below. Some campuses are well-known, especially Central Tehran and Science and Research, Tehran.

Campus Founded Enrollment Type
Science and Research, Tehran 1984 ~ 50,000 Comprehensive
Central Tehran 1982 ~ 40,000 Comprehensive
South Tehran 1985 ~ 35,000 Comprehensive
North Tehran 1985 ~ 20,000 Comprehensive
Medical Tehran 1985 ~ 5,000 Medical Sciences
Karaj 1984 ~ 35,000 Comprehensive
Qazvin 1992 ~ 28,000 Comprehensive
Najafabad 1985 ~ 25,000 [9] Comprehensive
Mashhad 1985 ~ 30,000 Comprehensive
Isfahan 1983 ~ 15,000 Comprehensive

Overseas campuses[edit]

Azad University in Oxford (AUO) is one of the IAU overseas campuses located at the outskirts of Oxford city in the UK. It has been established in 2004 to support the IAU international collaboration activities. Through its links with the UK universities and research centres, the AUO provides a number of services to the students and staff of IAU as well as other students and organisations around the world.[10]


ISC Rankings

In early 2011, Islamic World Science Citation Database declared the very first official ranking of Higher education and research institutes of Iran,[11] including a ranking of Islamic Azad University Campuses:[12][13]

Top 10 Campuses of Islamic Azad University in 2010
Rank Campus Score
1 Islamic Azad University of Tabriz 4.27
2 Islamic Azad University of Mashhad 3.51
3 Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch 3.06
4 Islamic Azad University of Karaj 2.61
5 Islamic Azad University North Tehran Branch 2.48
6 Islamic Azad University of Najafabad 1.37
7 Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch, Isfahan 1.35
8 Islamic Azad University of Ghouchan 1.26
9 Islamic Azad University of Shabestar 1.19
10 Islamic Azad University of Ardabil 0.95
Top 10 Campuses of Islamic Azad University in 2011
Rank Campus Score
1 Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran 100
2 Islamic Azad University of Mashhad 23.75
3 Islamic Azad University of Karaj 18.53
4 Islamic Azad University South Tehran Branch 18.21
5 Islamic Azad University Khorasgan Branch Isfahan 13.5
6 Islamic Azad University North Tehran Branch NA
7 Islamic Azad University of Najafabad NA
8 Islamic Azad University of Qazvin NA
9 Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch NA
10 Islamic Azad University of Yazd NA

SCImago rankings

2013: International rank: 87, National rank: 1, Regional Rank: 1[14]

2012: International rank: 231, National rank: 1, Regional Rank: 2[15]

Leiden Ranking – CWTS Leiden Ranking

2014: World rank: 252, Country rank: 11, Regional Rank: 194[16]

URAP – University Ranking by Academic Performance

2013: World rank: 161, Country rank: 1, Regional Rank: 25[17]

2012: World rank: 226, Country rank: 2, Regional Rank: 34[18]



  1. ^ Ahmad Ashraf, "EDUCATION vii. GENERAL SURVEY OF MODERN EDUCATION," Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition, December 15, 1997, available at
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ "Islamic Azad University Logotype usage guidelines" (PDF). Islamic Azad University. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  4. ^ Commentary: Back to the Future in Iran's Election | The National Interest
  5. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica World Almanac, ed. 2004, page 666
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^ a b Gholamreza Rahimi, Ghader Vazifeh Damirch, "Islamic Azad University Roles in Scientific Developement of Iran", Interdisciplinary Journal of Research in Business, Vol. 1, Issue. 9, (pp. 84–91), September–October 2011, available at
  8. ^ Khamenei Enters Battle Over Islamic Azad University and Paves Way for Ahmadinejad Takeover | The Middle East Channel
  9. ^ model school-count
  10. ^]
  11. ^ نخستین رتبه‌بندی رسمی دانشگاه‌ها و مراکز تحقیقاتی کشور اعلام شد
  12. ^ وب سایت رتبه بندی دانشگاه های جهان اسلام
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ ://
  17. ^
  18. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°43′58″N 51°23′20″E / 35.7328°N 51.3889°E / 35.7328; 51.3889