Personally, I believe that the main problem with Iranian higher education system is its focusing on education rather than research. As you see in your universities, most academic passion is doing research and publishing new articles not teaching in undergraduate levels. I agree that our system makes the academic people be a teaching machine; however, this does not decrease our responsibility in the case of doing some research.
Several months ago I received a link about Evaluation of the World’s universities (maybe one of you emailed it to me – I can’t remember). This ranking is run every year by a Chinese university. Neither in 2003 nor in 2004 we can’t see any Iranian University among the 500 best universities of the World.
If we consider size of a university as an educational value too, we’ll see that only 20% of the ranking value refers to education and 80% of its authority goes for its research-based statistics and activities:
Criteria / Weight
Quality of Education / 10%
Quality of Faculty / 40%
Research Output / 40%
Size of Institution / 10%
“We have scanned every university that has any Nobel Laureates, Fields Medals, Highly Cited Researchers, or papers published in Nature or Science. In addition, we scanned major universities of every country with significant amount of papers cited by SCIE and SSCI. In total, we have scanned more than two thousand universities” [FAQs].
It seems that the publication and research activities of Iranian universities are very low yet. This is the link for the ranking system mentioned above: