Nurturing Intellectuals in the Islamic Republic: The National Elites Foundation


  • Julie S. Leube Marburg University



Brain Drain, Elite, Migration, Education, Foundation, Iran


In the past decades, constant brain drain has become a serious challenge for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since the beginning of the 1990s, awareness of the problem and hence measures to counter this trend have increased. After some efforts to attract Iranian expatriates’ interest in investment in—or even remigration to—Iran, in 2005 the National Elites Foundation was established. The foundation focuses on identification of highly gifted individuals, and support and preservation of the domestic elites to which they belong. Both material and non-material support are granted to select groups of beneficiaries, thus reflecting the Islamic republic’s attempts to support and care for its citizens’ public and private lives.


Julie S. Leube, Marburg University

BA, studied in Marburg and Tehran, and is currently completing her master’s degree in Iranian studies at Marburg University. In her bachelor’s thesis she examined the Iranian National Elites Foundation as a governmental reaction to the country’s increasing intellectual brain drain.





Leube, J. S. „Nurturing Intellectuals in the Islamic Republic: The National Elites Foundation“. Middle East - Topics & Arguments, Bd. 1, Mai 2013, S. 46-52, doi:10.17192/meta.2013.1.1039.