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Depiction of Health. 2024;15(1): 84-98.
doi: 10.34172/doh.2024.07
  Abstract View: 126
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Policy Making

Original Article

Challenges and Solutions for Improving the Status of the Educational System in Tabriz University of Medical Sciences: Analysis of Investors' Views

Mohammad Reza Sadeghi 1 ORCID logo, Seyedeh Samin Imani 2 ORCID logo, Salar Ghaderi 3 ORCID logo, Sanam Mohammadzadeh 3 ORCID logo, Samina Soltani 4* ORCID logo

1 Advanced Medical Sciences Faculty, Tabriz University of Medical Science, Tabriz, Iran
2 Research Center for Evidence-based Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Science, Tabriz, Iran
3 Medical Philosophy and History Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Science, Tabriz, Iran
4 Student Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Science, Tabriz, Iran
*Corresponding Author: Email: samina.soltani81@gmail.com

Abstract

Background. Training efficient human resources is one of the main missions of universities. Considering the role of education in the development of professional human resources in the health system, it is essential to evaluate the status of the educational system in Iranian universities. The present study aimed to identify and prioritize the challenges in the educational system of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences as well as to provide solutions for dealing with them based on the viewpoints of investors (i.e., faculty members, students, managers, and teaching staff of the university).

Methods. This mixed method study (i.e., qualitative-quantitative study) was conducted in Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in the summer of 2023. The total number of the participants was 538, including 138 faculty members, 345 students, and 55 managers and employees in the field of education. The data collection tool in the qualitative phase of the study was an open-question questionnaire, but that in the quantitative phase was a closed-question one. The prioritization matrix was used to prioritize the challenges, which included four indicators of importance, solvability, cost-effectiveness, and urgency.

Results. A lack of the space and suitable facilities for students during their internships and internships, a professors' workload, a lack of the connection between Tabriz university and other universities/educational centers, a failure to select educational authorities based on their qualifications and capabilities, and a lack of professors were the most serious educational challenges.

Conclusion. The lack of suitable space and facilities for students during their internships and the insufficient number of professors were two of the most serious educational challenges at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. Therefore, it was recommended that the authorities and managers of this university should pay urgent attention to these challenges and do careful planning to address them.


Extended Abstract

Background

The present study aimed to identify and prioritize the challenges in the educational system of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences and to provide solutions for dealing with them based on the viewpoints of stockholders (i.e., faculty members, students, managers, and teaching staff of the university). The education system plays a critical role in the country's development, and this system relies a lot on universities for educating students about different fields of study. There is an urgent need to improve healthcare educational systems, due to their complexity and importance, by identifying and prioritizing the challenges as well as by finding solutions to them. According to previous studies, the main problems of the medical science universities are relative lack of educational space, issues related to the educational facilities and equipment, and inappropriate behavior of the educational managers. A few studies have investigated this topic in Iran; however, estimation of the problems in the medical education system, according to a thorough search, has not received enough research attention.

Methods

This mixed method study (qualitative and quantitative study) was carried out in Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in the summer of 2023. The total number of the participants was 538, including 138 faculty members, 345 students, and 55 managers and employees in the field of education. The data collection tool in the qualitative phase of the study was an open-question questionnaire with six questions critically estimating the educational system of the Tabriz University of Medical Science. Participants in this section were selected based on the purpose of the study, and experienced professors and students were then prioritized. A closed-question questionnaire consisting of 23 questions was prepared for the quantitative phase. The prioritization matrix was used to prioritize the challenges, which included four indicators of importance, solvability, cost-effectiveness, and urgency. To determine the sample size in this phase, the Morgan table was used. The inclusion criteria of this study were at least one academic semester of education at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences for students and at least two years of work experience for faculty members or employees. The exclusion criterion, on the other hand, was an unwillingness to answer the questionnaire. All participants were asked to provide informed consent, and were informed of their rights to withdraw from the study at any time without fear of consequences. The participants were also assured of the confidentiality of their information and their anonymity. Ethical permission to conduct the study was obtained from the ethics committee of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. In this study, descriptive statistics (i.e., mean, frequency, and percentage) were used to report the study findings.

Results

A lack of space and suitable facilities for students during internships and internships, a professors' workload, a lack of the connection between Tabriz university and other universities/educational centers, a failure to select educational authorities based on their qualifications and capabilities, and a lack of the professors were the most serious educational challenges. According to the professors, relevant authorities, and students, there was a wide range of possible solutions to these challenges such as: using competent and interested people in education, addressing the problem of the lack of faculty and accepting a large number of students, adopting new teaching methods, and using elite faculty in education. According to the prioritization matrix based on the viewpoints of the study participants, the most important and prioritized educational challenges at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences included a lack of suitable space and facilities for students during internships and internships, a heavy workload of the professors, a poor communication between Tabriz university and other universities/educational centers, a lack of selection of educational officials based on their qualifications and capabilities, a low number of computers and poor internet speed, and a lack of the professors.

Conclusion

Medical science education had more special characteristics than other types of education since it required learning a wide range of the subjects related to people's health. Therefore, it was found absolutely necessary to ensure the proper education of the healthcare workers. It was also revealed that a lack of suitable space and facilities for students during internships as well as an insufficient number of the professors were two of the most urgent educational challenges at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. Therefore, it was recommended that the authorities and managers of this university should pay urgent attention to these challenges and do careful planning to address them.

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Submitted: 15 Dec 2023
Revision: 03 Jan 2024
Accepted: 09 Jan 2024
ePublished: 24 Feb 2024
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