Document Type : Articles


1 Ph.D. , National Research Institute for Science Policy Ministry of Science, Research and Technology

2 M.A. ,Board of Education Tehran


Member states of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) have committed themselves to promote a program of action to improve and reform their educational institutions and curricula on the basis of the "OIC Vision 1441". As part of this commitment, a process has been initiated to review current international university ranking systems and to create a specific mechanism for ranking universities of the OIC countries. In this study, we explore the criteria that emerged as an outcome of this process and have been adopted for the purpose of ranking OIC universities. We raise the challenge that, although the idea of an OIC-specific ranking mechanism is a potentially valuable initiation for the Islamic countries to converge and cooperate, the whole endeavor tends to deal only with rudimentary issues in science, education, and research. The core conceptions, taken for granted and almost left untreated, continue to exist under the disguise of the newly fabricated criteria. For each one of the five major sets of criteria (Research, Education, International out-look, Facilities, and Socio-economic impact) we discuss why we believe they deal with the 'cover' rather than the 'core' of quality in higher education and research. We further discuss that truly alternative practices in the context of specific socio-cultural values, require revisiting underlying and taken for granted understandings of science, research, and technology. To walk our own way and to challenge the dominant mainstream global forces, we need a fundamentally alternative view of the quality and value of knowledge and basically of the value of the human being.