Introduction

Hoda International University (HIU) is a specialized university for women, established 33-years ago with the aim of teaching women different disciplines of knowledge. The word Hoda means guidance and the right path. According to Arabic linguistics it belongs to the feminine gender, therefore, it is also used as a first name for women. This university was established by the late Imam Khomeini (r), founder of the Iranian Islamic Revolution and, thereafter, it has constantly enjoyed the patronage of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatullah Khamenei (h). The goal of HIU is to recruit and train students from all-around the world. Every year a large number of foreign students from different countries are directly invited and granted admission to HIU with the official permission of the government of Iran. Currently there are 3,200 students studying in this university; 2,100 are students from 54 countries around the world, 1,100 are Iranian nationals. HIU desires to become an effective international center of knowledge by expanding the programs it currently offers, especially in the fields related to Humanities. In the near future, it intends to offer a variety of programs in the field of Islamic Sciences, Technical and Engineering disciplines.
Hoda International University was founded in 1983 in Qum, with the official permission of the Ministry of Education of the Islamic Republic of Iran. More than 75 thousand students – both foreign and Iranian – have graduated in different disciplines to date. Foreign students compose its majority strength.
Initially, the university focused on disciplines like Islamic Studies, Shia Studies, Quranic Sciences, Hadith, Theology, etc. In the year 2014, the policy of expanding various departments and sections of the university was adopted. New disciplines like Personal Law, Criminal Law, Family Law, Islamic Philosophy, Comparative Philosophy, Psychology, Education and Training, Farsi Language and Literature, Islamic Mysticism, Comparative Mysticism, etc. were added to the list of disciplines offered. Simultaneously, the university started majorly focusing on foreign students from around the world, an example of which are the recent Exchange of Students program with some of the institutes and universities of Germany and England.
The spacious campus of Hoda International University covers over 2,50,000 square meters, with an overall constructed space of 1,30,000 square meters.

Major Goals of HIU

Surveys conducted amongst Muslim women show that many of them are interested in attending the courses offered at universities for women, especially the non-Iranian Muslim women. They are interested in coming to Qum to study different disciplines of knowledge offered in this Holy city. Both, ground realities and ideal goals, demonstrate the importance of such a center of learning specific to women. The primary goal behind the establishment of this university is ‘to train female university graduates in specialized fields and firmly establish Islamic principles in their thought and action to initiate an International academic movement.’

Specific Goals

• Spread disciplines of knowledge at the International level based on lofty Islamic values with the focus on women; its centre being in Islamic Republic of Iran, Qom
• Strengthen and inculcate ethics, free-thinking, creativity in teaching, with the focus on women
• Train qualified, leading women figures to become academic authorities in their fields of expertise
• Help women reach the frontiers of knowledge
• Develop the Humanities and Social Sciences Islamic foundations and values
• Spread familiarity with Persian internationally
• Consolidate the role modeling by Muslim women as successful figures in the field of academics, globally