47 Baha’i students Barred from Higher Education in Iran
At least 47 students have been deprived from pursuing higher education due to their Baha’i conviction.
They had participated in and passed the national university entrance examination, some with outstanding results, but when checking in for their computer records, they received a message stating “deficient records” in the Evaluation Organization (Sanjesh).
“Deficient records” is an option used to block Baha’I students’ access to their computer records and inform them of being barred from continuing their higher education. This has become a common practice since 2006 and numerous students with Baha’i faith have faced this option in the results of the current year’s examinations.
Baha’is are routinely denied higher education. Even dozens of Baha’is who have successfully passed the national examinations and other hurdles to continue their education at the university level have been forced to drop out, even after several years.
In a recent case in March 2018 Soha Izadi was expelled from a university in Zanjan, 207 miles west of Tehran, because of her Baha’i faith. She was told by university officials that the only way she could continue her studies was by renouncing her faith.
In university registration forms, students are required to reveal their religion, but Baha’is, who are a banned religious minority, usually leave it blank.
According to Article 1 of Iran’s Supreme Cultural Revolution Council’s Student Qualification Regulations, approved by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in 1991, students who take the national enrollment exam must either be Muslim or followers of other constitutionally sanctioned religions. Article 3 states that if a student is discovered to be a Baha’i after enrolling in a university, he or she will be expelled.