Emerging Challenges in Iranian Higher Education and Presenting a Conceptual Model; the study of grounded theory

Document Type : Scientific - Research


1 Associate professor, Faculty of Humanities, University of Kurdistan, Kurdistan, Iran.

2 PhD candidate, Development Planning in Higher education, Faculty of Humanities, University of Kurdistan, Kurdistan, Iran.

3 PhD candidate, Educational Administration, Faculty of Humanities, University of Kurdistan, Kurdistan, Iran.


Objective: With advances of technology and the rapid flow of global developments, universities have been located more interaction with their surrounding environment and this has created numerous challenges for higher education in various fields. Therefore, identifying them and adopting rational and realistic strategies against them will make the higher education system more effective. For this purpose, the present research, intends to identify emerging challenges in the development of higher education and provide a conceptual model in this regard.
Materials and methods: The present study was a type of qualitative research where using a grounded theory approach, identified emerging challenges in higher education. Data collection was carried out with a deep interviewing tool that theoretical saturation of the findings was achieved at the 16th interview. Data analysis was carried out using grounded theory method and using open, axial and selective coding. Research field in this study was experts and specialists and managers of higher education in different universities of the country. The participants were selected through a purposeful sampling (snowball type). In order to observe the qualitative characteristics of the research, three criteria of acceptability, validity and reliability were used. The outcomes of this study were presented to the university teachers participating in the study, and the results of the study were confirmed.
Discussion and result: According to the findings, four categories of serious and emerging challenges in higher education include: Internationalization challenges; Interdisciplinary challenges; Challenges of relation with industry; Challenges in the new fields of science were identified. If these challenges are seen from the perspective of opportunity, it will certainly provide an appropriate platform for the development of higher education. Finally, the strategies were proposed and the final model was presented.


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