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10.27.2008

The Muslim University's Electrical

. 10.27.2008

The Star Students Of The Islamic Republic
Forget Harvard. One of the world's best undergraduate colleges is in Iran.
Afshin Molavi | NEWSWEEK | Aug 9, 2008
Iran memang patut diteladani oleh kaum muslim Indonesia dari sisi
upaya mencapai kemajuan teknologi. Artikel di bawah ini
In 2003, administrators at Stanford University's Electrical
Engineering Department were startled when a group of foreign students
aced the notoriously difficult Ph.D. entrance exam, getting some of
the highest scores ever. That the whiz kids weren't American wasn't
odd; students from Asia and elsewhere excel in U.S. programs. The
surprising thing, say Stanford administrators, is that the majority
came from one country and one school: Sharif University of Science and
Technology in Iran.

Iran memang patut diteladani oleh kaum muslim Indonesia dari sisi
upaya mencapai kemajuan teknologi. Artikel di bawah ini memuji-muji
pendidikan di Iran, bahkan Sharif University disebut sebagai salah
satu universitas terbaik di dunia setara dengan Harvard. Cuma...
biasalah, majalah Amerika, mana ada sih yg mau tulus memuji Iran, di
akhir paragraf disebutkan bahwa lulusan2 cemerlang Iran umumnya sangat
ingin meneruskan pendidikan atau bekerja ke luar negeri karena sistem
politik di Iran yg kurang kondusif utk kaum akademisi yg cemerlang.
-Dina Y.Sulaeman-
http://dinasulaeman .wordpress. com
http://www.newsweek .com/id/151684

Stanford has become a favorite destination of Sharif grads. Bruce A.
Wooley, a former chair of the Electrical Engineering Department, has
said that's because Sharif now has one of the best undergraduate
electrical-engineer ing programs in the world. That's no small praise
given its competition: MIT, Caltech and Stanford in the United States,
Tsinghua in China and Cambridge in Britain.
Sharif's reputation highlights how while Iran makes headlines for
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad' s incendiary remarks and its nuclear
showdown with the United States, Iranian students are developing an
international reputation as science superstars. Stanford's
administrators aren't the only ones to notice. Universities across
Canada and Australia, where visa restrictions are lower, report a big
boom in the Iranian recruits; Canada has seen its total number of
Iranian students grow 240 percent since 1985, while Australian press
reports point to a fivefold increase over the past five years, to
nearly 1,500.
Iranian students from Sharif and other top schools, such as the
University of Tehran and the Isfahan University of Technology, have
also become major players in the international Science Olympics,
taking home trophies in physics, mathematics, chemistry and robotics.
As a testament to this newfound success, the Iranian city of Isfahan
recently hosted the International Physics Olympiad—an honor no other
Middle Eastern country has enjoyed. That's because none of Iran's
neighbors can match the quality of its scholars.
Never far behind, Western tech companies have also started snatching
them up. Silicon Valley companies from Google to Yahoo now employ
hundreds of Iranian grads, as do research institutes throughout the
West. Olympiad winners are especially attractive; according to the
Iranian press, up to 90 percent of them now leave the country for
graduate school or work abroad.
So what explains Iran's record, and that of Sharif in particular? The
country suffers from many serious ills, such as chronic inflation,
stagnant wages and an anemic private sector, thanks to poor economic
management and a weak regulatory environment. University professors
barely make ends meet—the pay is so bad some must even take second
jobs as taxi drivers or petty traders. International sanctions also
make life difficult, delaying the importation of scientific equipment,
for example, and increasing isolation. Until recently, Iranians were
banned from publishing in the journals of the Institute for Electrical
and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the industry's key international
professional association. They also face the indignity of often having
their visa applications refused when they try to attend conferences in
the West.
Yet Sharif and its ilk continue to thrive. Part of the explanation,
says Mohammad Mansouri, a Sharif grad ('97) who's now a professor in
New York, lies in the tendency of Iranian parents to push their kids
into medicine or engineering as opposed to other fields, like law.
Sharif also has an extremely rigorous selection process. Every year
some 1.5 million Iranian high-school students take college-entrance
exams. Of those, only about 10 percent make it to the prestigious
state schools, with the top 1 percent generally choosing science and
finding their way to top spots such as Sharif. "The selection process
[gives] universities like Sharif the smartest, most motivated and
hardworking students" in the country, Mansouri says.
Sharif also boasts an excellent faculty. The university was founded in
1965 by the shah, who wanted to build a topnotch science and
technology institute. The school was set up under the guidance of MIT
advisers, and many of the current faculty studied in the United States
(during the shah's era, Iranians made up the largest group of foreign
students at U.S. schools, according to the Institute of International
Education). Another secret of Sharif's success is Iran's high-school
system, which places a premium on science and exposes students to
subjects Americans don't encounter until college. This tradition of
advanced studies extends into undergraduate programs, with Mansouri
and others saying they were taught subjects in college that U.S.
schools provide only to grad students.
Several Sharif alumni point to one other powerful motivator. "When you
live in Iran and you see all the frustrations of daily life, you dream
of leaving the country, and your books and studies become a ticket to
a better life," says one who asked not to be identified. "It becomes
more than just studying," he says. "It becomes an obsession, where you
wake up at 4 a.m. just to get in a few more hours before class."
Iran's success, in other words, is also the country's tragedy:
students want nothing more than to get away the moment they graduate.
That's a boon for foreign universities and tech firms but a serious
source of brain drain for the Islamic republic. There simply are not
enough quality jobs for graduates in Iran, says Ramin Farjad Rad,
another Sharif grad ('97) who's now an executive at Aquantia in
Silicon Valley. What's worse, star students who stay in Iran and try
to launch businesses complain that predatory government officials
demand a cut of their profits or impose unnecessary obstacles. Thus
many Iranians who can't make it to the West head to Dubai instead. As
one Sharif grad in the Persian Gulf port city puts it, "Here, our
education is properly valued. We are given freedom to succeed. In
Iran, we are blocked."
Such frustrations augur ill for Iran's future. True, it's produced a
startling number of top students in recent years. And the country's
history is rich with achievement, featuring Avicenna (also known as
Ibn Sina), the medieval world's greatest scientist; Muhammad
al-Khwarizmi, the ninth-century inventor of the mathematical algorithm
(the basis of computer science), and Omar Khayyam, the famed
mathematician and astronomer. That's a fine legacy. But unless the
Islamic republic changes directions soon, all of that history and
potential could be squandered.* **
URL: http://www.newsweek .com/id/151684
--- In islam_alternatif@ yahoogroups. com, shaleh al-attas s4leh
wrote:

Tepat dihari kelahiran Imam Zaman aj Iran kembali membuka mata dunia
betapa Ilmu dan Teknologi kini bukan lagi monopoli Bangsa kulit putih
lagi, dan di hari dan malam kelahiran Imam Mahdi itulah Ilmuan dan
Pemuda-pemuda berbakat Iran membuktikan janjinya kepada dunia.

Dunia 'Barat' boleh saja mencibir dan melihat setengah hati apa yang
sesungguhnya telah diraih dan dipersembahkan oleh Bangsa ini. Tapi
inilah fakta yang tentu membuat gusar dan tak senang hati beberapa
Negara arogan yang selalu saja menghalangi sampainya alih teknologi
secara menyeluruh kepada Bangsa-bangsa diluar dunia mereka.

Tapi apa kata media-media pemberitaan dunia yang kemudian di jeplak apa
adanya oleh Pers Indonesia, Mereka melansir dan memberitakan 'kisah'
besar ini dengan menurunkan berita yang bernada sinis, tak acuh atas
keberhasialn yang telah diraih oleh Para Pakar dan saintis Iran ini.

Galibnya kita disuguhi pemberitaan yang
kurang sedap bahkan beralih dan memutar angle berita teknologi menjadi
'agenda kekhawatiran' barat atas kemampuan teknologi damai ini.
Pemberitaan yang disajikan beberapa media Nasional sepertinya mengamini
apa yang diinginkan oleh pihak Barat yang tak suka dengan keberhasilan
alih teknologi tinggi yang kini dikuasai oleh pemuda-pemuda Muslim
Iran.

Sambil menampakkan keheranannya teman disamping saya
bertanya-tanya, kenapa kita Bangsa Indonesia justru tidak melihat ini
sebagai sebuah 'kemenangan' bersama, kenapa pers kita tidak
menjadikannya sebagai momentum pemberitaan untuk merangsang bangkitnya
Bangsa kita dari penguasaan teknologi tinggi seperti itu. Mengapa
tidak melihat ini sebagai amunisi dan semangat baru bahwa semua Bangsa
di dunia akan mampu meraih semua citanya yang besar jika seluruh
potensi anak Bangsa senatiasa berdiri tegak diatas kaki sendiri.

Saya
menghela nafas panjang dan tak tahu lagi jawaban apa yang mestinya bisa
meredakan kebuntuann otak dan rasa saya yang dalam, saya cuma bisa
berbisik didalam hati bahwa akupun memiliki sujuta tanya yang sama

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