History and Milestones
The Department of Demography of the University of Tehran has been the leading demographic center in Iran over the last four decades. The history of the Department goes back to the late 1950s when the Institute for Social Studies and Research was established. The Division of Population Research is one of the main divisions of the Institute, which has undertaken several demographic researches in Iran. In 1971, the faculty members and students of the Institute for Social Studies and Research formed the Faculty of Social Sciences and Cooperation within which the Department of Demography emerged.
Institute for Social Studies and Research, which accomplished a variety of researches in different areas of social sciences, founded in 1958. Besides research activities, the Institute began the first formal program of higher education of the social sciences in Iran by offering Master of Art degree. Faculty of Social Sciences was established as the foremost and largest center for training higher education of the social sciences in Iran by merging the Social Studies and Research Institute and the Cooperative Studies Institute. After the establishment of the Faculty of Social Sciences, several departments including the Department of Sociology, Department of Demography, Department of Anthropology, and Department of Cooperative Studies were founded.
During the 1970s, the Department of Demography offered Bachelor of Arts in Demography for eight years, but this program discontinued after the 1979 Revolution. In 1987, the Department started to offer Master of Arts in Demography. Around 8 to 10 students for master degree are admitted annually, and by 2004, around 100 students have graduated from the Department. The graduates of the Department of Demography have mainly been employed in various educational institutions, research centers, and such organizations as budget and planning organization, civil registration organizations, and departments of health.
In 2002, the department inaugurated its PhD program, and there are 10 PhD students currently enrolled to the program. At present, the department has six faculty members and eight associates.
Department of Demography has office space at the Faculty of Social Sciences and administratively has been remaining a part of the faculty since it’s foundation. The Faculty of Social Sciences has grown in recent years and consists of six Departments: Department of Sociology, Department of Communication, Department of Social Planning, Department of Demography, Department of Anthropology, and Department of Social Development. Currently, various training programs at the BA, MA and PhD degree levels offered in the faculty and more than 60 staff members and 1300 students involved in training and research activities.
The main objectives of the Department of Demography are:
- to offer demographic courses at undergraduate level to social science students
- to train demographers at both MA and PhD levels
- to promote demographic research through the Division of Population Research of the Institute for Social Studies and Research
In the 1970s, the Department of Demography had research collaborations with the Institut National d’Études Démographiques [French National Institute for Demographic Studies] (INED). Since the late 1990s, the Department has had research collaborations with the Demography Program of the Australian National University (ANU). Dr Abbasi-Shavazi and Professor Peter McDonald of the ANU have been involved in collaborative projects funded by the Wellcome Trust on Fertility Transition in Iran. The Department has also conducted research funded by such international agencies as the UNFPA. Since 2000, several distinguished demographers from the ANU, French National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED), University of Michigan, and Fayetteville University have visited the department, and have discussed collaborative projects with the staff members of the Department. Following provide a list of some well-known demographers that visited the Department during 1998-2005:
Professor Arland Thornton, ex-President of the Population Association of America and currently, Director, Population Studies Center, University of Michigan
Dr Francçois Héran , Director of the INED
Dr Jacques Vallin, President of the International Union for the Scientific Studies of Population (IUSSP), and researcher at INED
Dr Marie Ladier-Fouladi, Researcher at INED
Dr Alan Blum, Researcher at INED
Dr Akbar Aghajanian, Fayetteville University, US
Professor Zeba Sathar, ex-President of the Population Association of Pakistan, and Director, Population Council, Pakistan
Professor Mehtab Karim, Agha Khan University and currently, President of the Population Association of Pakistan
Professor Terry Hull, President, Australian Population Association
Professor Gavin Jones, Chair of the Council of CICRED , and currently Research Leader at the National University of Singapore
Dr Diana Glazebrook, Australian National University