HRANA News Agency – New criteria defined for graduate programs ban female students from studying in seven different engineering fields at Isfahan University of Technology.
According to a report by Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Isfahan University of Technology will no longer admit female students into graduate programs to study agricultural engineering with a concentration in irrigation, animal science and machinery. Female students have also been banned from obtaining masters degrees in natural resources engineering with a concentration in watershed and land management as well as desertification. Furthermore, the university has adopted a policy to admit only male students to study water resources engineering.
A group of undergraduate female students have objected to the new policy, expressing their concerns in a letter written to the university officials. “These decisions have been made without considering the number of female students currently enrolled in the related undergraduate programs,” the students wrote. “Given the fact that the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology grants priority admission to local students, depriving residents from entering into graduate programs is contradictory to this standing policy and unjust.”
“Due to our social norms and restrictions, female students aren’t free to leave home to study out of town,” the students said in their letter. “We have already asked the university board of directors to lift these restrictions. But citing lack of job opportunities for female students, the board of directors has failed to address our concerns.”
“We have been told that our field of study is incompatible with our femininity,” the students complained. “Nonetheless, we believe that we are as qualified as our male counterparts to specialize in any of these areas. A large number of female engineers have already succeeded in the same fields. Female students can have a promising future ahead of them if they are given the same opportunities as men. We can excel in the job market both as engineers and teachers, training future female students.”