Denial of Higher Education Continues for Baha’i University Applicants in 2015

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Translation by Iran Press Watch

Date: September 9, 2015

Taghato: The final results of the nationwide university entrance exams for 2015 have been announced, and once more Baha’i applicants are not receiving their results due to what is called an “incomplete file”.

As reported by sources close to Baha’is, when Pouria Ighanian ‒ a 19 year old Baha’i who earned a ranking of 1690 (out of 1.4 million applications sent) in this year’s entrance exams ‒ entered the website of the University Evaluation Board to see the results for the university and major he selected, he saw a message that said he would have to contact the accountability unit of the University Evaluation Board in Meshkin Dasht of Karaj, due to an “incomplete file”.

In previous years, announcing an “incomplete file” for Baha’i applicants in Iran has been synonymous with the denial of higher education. Apparently, this process is also being repeated this year.

Preventing Baha’is from pursuing higher education is done in accordance with a resolution by the Iranian Supreme Council  the Cultural Revolution dated February 25, 1991. According to this resolution, Baha’is should be denied higher education in addition to being denied job opportunities in government organizations.

Based on article three of this resolution, not only should Baha’is be prevented from registering in universities, but also should be denied education if their Baha’i identity is recognized after registration or at any time during their university education.

This denial of higher education has also continued after Hassan Rohani was elected president in the summer of 2013. For example, last year a number of Baha’i students ‒ including Shadan Shirazi, who held a ranking of 113 in mathematics and technology entrance exams ‒ were prevented from entering universities due to their religious beliefs.

One of the most recent examples of the expulsion of Baha’i students from university was the case of Dorsa Gholizadeh – an architecture student at the non-profit Roozbehan University in Sari – who was expelled from this university due to pressure from the Ministry of Information.

In July of this year, she published a letter that gave this account of her suspension: “at the Ministry of Information, I was given three choices: 1) I could retain my beliefs and be denied higher education; 2) I could leave Iran to continue my education; 3) I could recant my faith, go to the imam and convert to Islam, have my name published in newspapers as a new Muslim and continue my education.”




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