Hosseini Abdullahi: Using English in teaching and creating research doctorate courses / Professors of University of Tehran will always be role models in my scientific life

03 November 2020 | 16:26 Code : 30437 Lived Experience
One of the most effective solutions for scientific and cultural exchanges between countries is the presence of international students in universities; Students with customs, traditions, culture and social backgrounds different from other countries, who can be messengers of peace and friendship and communication between nations in addition to education, promotion and development of scientific fields.


The University of Tehran, emphasizing the development of international relations and scientific diplomacy, has always given a special place to the presence and activities of international students. For this reason, Hedih Mirzaei, the public relations expert of the university, in a series of conversations with top international students, investigated their concerns and the opportunities and challenges of studying international students at Tehran University.
Hosseini Abdullahi, a top international student at University of Tehran, is a Hara (native Nigerian) and a member of one of the three main tribes in Nigeria and a native of Kano state in northern Nigeria. After secondary education, in 1990, he was admitted to "Jigawa State College of Education" in Gamel city, where he obtained the National Certificate of Education (NCE) as a teacher in the fields of biology and chemistry with a score above 4.00. He also obtained his first university degree in 2005 at Bayero University in Kano city in the field of applied biology with second grade (CGPA: 3.78). Then, in 2010, he received his master's degree in botany (CGPA: 4.15) from the same university, and he is currently a doctoral student in the field of plant biology at  University of Tehran 's College of Science.
At the beginning of the conversation, this top international student described University of Tehran as an academic environment where the learning experience prevails over the individual's nature, that is, where people have the ability to face future challenges and can be successful in all aspects of their lives through education.
Hosseini Abdullahi, in response to a question about the purpose and criteria he had for choosing University of Tehran  as the university where he studied, said: "In 2016, I was planning to continue my studies, and the university I was in asked us to find a university that has a good rating and we can choose a suitable scientific and academic environment for us.

Personally, I was interested in studying in Asian countries, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran. Therefore, while discussing the matter with one of my friends, he advised me to choose University of Tehran because of its prominent national position and its place in the Asian continent. When I saw the website of  University of Tehran, I found more records in the field of scientific excellence, strong researches and reputable professors, etc.

Of course, one of the criteria for granting us financial aid from the university was that the university we choose should not be ranked above ten in its country. Fortunately, University of Tehran had the first place in Iran, so this condition was fulfilled in a way."
He continued: "In this way, with the help of one of my friends who was a student of Tehran University of Medical Sciences at that time, I applied for admission. First, I was accepted to study for a PhD in Agricultural Biotechnology at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran, but then I changed my major to a more related field, i.e. Plant Sciences, in the Biology Department of the College of Science. Of course, upon entering  University of Tehran in February 2018, I was introduced to the International Center for Persian Studies to learn Persian language.
The top international student of the University of Tehran, about the scientific and research activities in the field of his field of study, stated that the limitations and health challenges and its effect on the subject of his proposed research made him unable to carry out the desired research completely, but as a student of plant science, they have had many visits to different botanical regions of Iran and each time, they have collected special plant samples that are kept in the herbarium to be subjected to various tests.

Hosseini Abdallahi considered the presence of prominent professors as one of the special advantages of studying at University of Tehran, who are very skilled in education and are active researchers in research to create competition and hard work among students. He also mentioned the language of teaching at the university as a challenge for international students, stating that each student must spend a considerable amount of time learning Persian, which is very difficult, especially for doctoral students, most of whom are working, so there is limited time to complete the course.
From the perspective of a college of science student, learning a language to the extent that it can be used topically and for example studies is quite challenging, but in relation to a culture, learning the culture of a nation happens gradually.
Regarding the way of cooperation and interaction with other students, he also stated that he has a good brotherly and emotional relationship with other international students, although he is more familiar with Iraqi students and then with Afghan students. He also has good friends among Iranian students and has been able to maintain his close relationship with them until today. From this student's point of view, team work and working with the team and being together is admirable, because it makes everyone learn from each other and help each other, and the result is an increase in the quality of the work.
This top international student continued the conversation by stating that the proposed topic of his doctoral thesis is about to be approved and said: "The topic of my doctoral thesis is related to the study of African halophytes with regard to their links with the flora of Southwest Asia: with regard to the genus Asparagus ( ASPARAGACEAE). Due to the importance of this group of plants in relation to global food security and as a result of the growing demand for knowledge related to them, especially in African countries, this issue became important and interesting for me and I addressed it.
Hosseini Abdullahi, in response to what he expects or requests from the university officials to improve approaches such as education and research, explained as follows: "My experience from University of Tehran is limited to the experiences of an international student.

Among other things, it is good for the university management to reconsider some cases or give a new solution. For example, using English in teaching is an important solution, especially for students whose English is the official language of their country. This is much more important in the case of doctoral students, because their studies are completed earlier and better, and some of them may go there because there is this privilege in other countries.
The College of Science student added: "Creation of research doctorate courses is another desirable option for some international students, and in my opinion, necessary considerations should be made regarding opening them."

Another request is related to new university students from other countries whose primary task is to learn Persian language. They must first register in the university and learn Persian language at the same time as they study in the relevant field. It is better that they are introduced to the relevant department at the International Persian Language Center before starting their studies, because this will make them more ready to continue their studies.
As someone who has experience teaching in Nigeria, he evaluates the teaching methods, suitable environment for learning and the personality of  University of Tehran professors very well.

This student believes that the professors of University of Tehran inspire their students with their kind dedication, humility and above all skills, and he emphasizes that my professors at University of Tehran will always be role models in my academic life.
This top international student, in another part of this interview, in response to a question about the level of interest in his field of study and its advantages and applications, explained: "Plant biology is a broad field that deals with all the life processes of plants and therefore includes some specializations include the study of medicinal plants, plant physiology, anatomy, pathology, ecology, systems and many more. I am more interested in the systematic study of plants.

Studying and acquiring knowledge in this branch of plant science is essential for other branches, because it includes the process of identifying, naming, describing, classifying and examining the relationship between plant species. It requires time, energy and resources so that one can master all the skills necessary to know the plants systematically, so that one can know it by observing the plant. For this reason, in the process of systematic study of plants, some aspects of other branches, especially anatomy, morphology, physiology, ecology and genetics of plants should also be studied and researched.

Hosseini Abdullahi, describing Iranian civilization, art and culture, also says that there are many interesting cultures, arts and ancient heritage in Iran that are enjoyable to watch. In his opinion, the most interesting of these works is Iranian architecture, which has been used in the beautification of religious places with the combination of calligraphy, and in these places there are very distinguished native artistic skills that seem to be being updated.
In the end, the international student of University of Tehran Science Campus said: "I thank God for making my dream of studying in Iran a reality and the Nigerian government for financial support.

Despite the long geographical distance, Iran and Nigeria are close to each other in spirit and mind. I hope that I can study in such a way that I can show the quality of education in University of Tehran to other students in Nigeria in all university fields who want to choose a country to study. Also, I am grateful to all the professors in the Department of Plant Sciences for their continued support and the college of science in general. Especially Dr. Hussain Akhani who works hard to provide a specific research plan for my project with all the financial constraints. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings. May God bless the Islamic Republic of Iran and the University of Tehran."

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