Saturday, January 19, 2008

Protest against discrimination at the universities

Dear friends,

I would like to request your support for our protest against the structural exclusion of Iranian students and academics at two Dutch universities.

Universities used to be open, scientific forums where students and researchers were selected based on their academic qualities, not their nationality. University of Twente and Einhoven University of Technology have decided, in an unprecedented move, to reject all Iranian students and academics "as a results of the UN sanctions" against the Iranian government. This means that even students who are interested in subjects that have nothing to do with nuclear technology, such as social sciences and industrial design, are denied admission to the university.

Dear friends, this is the first time, since the Second World War, that a specific group of people is excluded from higher education. It is sad to observe that it should happen in a country that used to be praised for its liberal and progressive climate.

What needs to be done? We have already the support of a large number of academics at the Dutch universities. Also, we have lobbied so much that the Parliament will hold a session on this topic within the next few days. We can really stop this, by sending a strong message to the government and the universities that we do not accept discrimination against innocent students and researchers, just because that have "the wrong" nationality.

We need all the support that we can get. That is why I would like to ask you to read our petition here.

If you sign it, it would even be better! And please, spread this message in your network.

Many thanks