عنوان مقاله [English]
Using the grounded theory-type qualitative approach, this study aims to investigate the challenges of Iran's higher education system according to the world ranking standards and suggest some new strategies to the country’s higher education policymakers and planners. Participants included 16 experts and senior officials from the Institute for Higher Education Research and Planning, University of Tehran, Eco Insurance Higher Education Institute, Alameh Tabatabae University and Technical and Vocational University whom were selected via snowball sampling method. Semi-structured interviews were applied to collect data based on theoretical saturation which were lasting between 30 and 60 minutes. For data validation both participants review (member check) and review by external experts (external check) were applied. Data was analyzed using open, axial, and selective coding. The findings showed that the following challenges have resulted in the poor position of the country's universities comparing with world ranking indicators: economic, sociocultural, policy-making, university management, infrastructural, educational, and research. Accordingly, layering, increasing operational efficiency and efficacy, policy changes, and transition from growth to development and reinforcement of international communications were the strategies proposed for improving the ranking of Iranian universities in the above ranking system.