University in an oil-dependent state economy: The future of Khuzestan higher education

  • Hamid Farhadi Rad Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran
  • Hasan Farazmand Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran
  • Morteza Afghah Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran
  • Yaghoob Andayesh Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran
Keywords: higher education, developmental university, entrepreneurship, value creation, state-economy, Khuzestan province


Purpose of the study: The understanding of the complex world and the ability to imagine the futures is the basis for planning and decision-making. Therefore, in this research, the possible future of university in an Iranian oil-dependent economy is studied, and, the best direction for higher education in Khuzestan province is explored. — Methodology: A formative scenario writing research method is used in the current study. The participants were recruited from among Iranian higher education experts purposefully; a series of in-depth interviews including personal and focus group interviews have also been conducted to reach saturation. —Main findings: The results of the present research showed that two main factors affect Khuzestan higher education: dependency on the state economy and increasingly growing social expectation from the university. Khuzestan universities have better select one of these orientations: Conservative University, Enabler University, Adaptive University, and Developmental University. According to the findings of the study, developmental orientation is the preferred scenario for Khuzestan higher education. — Applications of this study: It is argued that the developmental university is the preferred scenario for the future of higher education in Khuzestan Province and a proposal suggests its actualization. — Novelty/originality of this study: The applied scenario-based innovative research attempts to reveal the socio-economic role of universities in societies having State-Economy such as Iran, shows all the possible main paths, and finally determines the preferred path for a specific period of time. The current probe can be directly used to lead higher education policymakers of the province and be indirectly employed to help individuals adopt general orientations in higher education, as well as students and researchers who are interested in higher education studies, especially in the field of Higher Education (HE) public policymaking. Finally identified and explained the developmental university that is compatible with Khuzestan higher education situations is another novelty of this research.

Received: 29 March 2021
Accepted: 21 June 2021


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Author Biographies

Hamid Farhadi Rad, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran

associate professor in the Department of Education at the Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz (Khuzestan, Iran). He is particularly interested in issues concerning Educational Administration, Higher education & Qualitative research methods. He studied Educational Administration at the University of Tehran and spent a term as a visiting fellow in the International Center for Higher Education Research (INCHER) Kassel University in 2009-2010. Hamid has ten years of teaching experience at the university in the field of higher education management, higher education policy-making, and educational economic. His main area of research is higher education management and leadership. He is a member of the strategic planning board for the future of the university in the Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran. Hamid is the head of the Quality Assurance Office at the Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran 2018 to present. He conducted various research projects in the field of higher education, for example, designing a model for paying and spending grants at the university, developing a model for institutional accreditation and evaluation, and participating in the development of the second strategic plan of the Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz.

Hasan Farazmand, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran

Professor of economics at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz (Khuzestan, Iran) and has been the head of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences since 2016. He received his Ph.D. in International Economics in 2015 and then worked as a faculty member at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz. He has been a member of many specialized groups and committees inside and outside the university. For Example; a member of the Scientific Council of The Journal of the Assembly and Research, 2001 to 2004, Vice Chancellor for Finance at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz from2017 to 2019. His main field of research is international development economics, and he has led many projects in this field. For example: Industrial Development of Khuzestan Province, Designing Development Plan, Productivity in public and private sector of Khuzestan Province, and Investigation of the Impact of Oil Revenues on Social and Cultural Development of Khuzestan Province.

Morteza Afghah, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran

Associate professor of economics at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz (Khuzestan, Iran) and has been the head of the Department of Economics from 2018 to the present. His main area of research interest is economic development and he has done many works in this field. For example; the role of education in the economics and social development of the country, evaluation of the Iranian Scientific and Industrial Research Organization and scientific poles: goals, structures, and challenges. He has also been a member of various committees and specialized groups such as the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences from 1992 to 1994, and a member of the Productivity Committee of Khuzestan Province 2018 to 2020. Calculation of Human Development Index of Iranian Provinces and Its Impact on Economic Growth and Employment of the Provinces (Fuzzy Logic Approach), Calculation of Human Development Index (HDI) and its relationship with corruption in Khuzestan province, and Investigating the Mutual Relationship between Private and Public Educational and Health Care Expenditures with the Economic Growth of Iran (A Causality Approach) are examples of thesis under his supervision.

Yaghoob Andayesh, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran

Ph.D. in Economics, trends in financial economics, resource economics, and the environment from University of Tabriz (Iran). He is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz (Khuzestan, Iran). He is interested in the Economics of Development and was an Expert in the Office of Subsidies of the Ministry of Welfare and Social Security, Iran from 2004 to 2007. Yaghoub conducted works such as “Multidimensional Child Poverty and a Study of the Bangladesh Experience” by the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Ministry of Labor Cooperation and Social Welfare; Effects of the first phase of subsidy targeting on the health sectors and the cost of living index of households” Ministry of Health 2011 and, Study on the elimination of food and medicine subsidies on the cost of living index of households, Management and Planning Organization of the country. He is interested in working on the relationship between university and entrepreneurship in Khuzestan province, and in this study, he helped our team identifying entrepreneurial capabilities in Khuzestan province.


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How to Cite
Farhadi Rad, Hamid, Hasan Farazmand, Morteza Afghah, and Yaghoob Andayesh. 2021. “University in an Oil-Dependent State Economy: The Future of Khuzestan Higher Education”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 9 (1), 157-98.