Dar Ul-Funun School - Tehran, Iran (Persia)

Dar ul-Funun as the first modern university and more broadly, the first modern educational institute in Iran (Tehrani) was founded by Amir Kabir (the prime minister of Naser Al-Din Shah, the fourth king of the Qajar Dynasty) in 1851. Amir Kabir who had traveled to foreign countries including Russia found that the country’s progress is dependent on the acquisition of knowledge. Therefore, he managed to establish an organized system of education in science and industry.

The majority of Dar ul-Funun’s students were boys of noble and wealthy families between the ages of 14 to 16 years, who were trained in foreign languages, political science, engineering, agriculture, medicine, veterinary, military science, and music. Importantly, Dar ul-Funun started its activity with seven Austrian professors and some translators in 12 different majors. This institute provided a series of facilities for students such as theater, assembly hall, cafeteria, publishing house, and library.

The establishment of Dar ul-Funun was an important starting point in the history of education in the country. In 1930, Mirza Yahya Khan Qaragozlu, also known as Etemad-od-Dowleh, who later became the Minister of Education, destroyed the building of this institute and invited a Russian architect to redesign it following a Russian style. In general, this university trained more than 1,100 students in its 40-year history. Finally, following the revision of the educational system of Iran, Dar ul-Funun turned into a school.