Academic research across borders faces hurdles when it comes to Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Cuba

by Tara García Mathewson for EducationDIVE on MAY 26, 2015: 

The United States names only four countries on its State Sponsors of Terrorism List — Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Cuba, though the latter is expected to come off that list in the coming weeks. The government has determined these countries have “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism,” according to the State Department’s website, and has responded with a set of sanctions based on that activity.

While scholarly pursuits generally rise above political disagreements, the nation’s colleges and universities are affected by U.S. sanctions. In February, the University of Massachusetts Amherst made its policy of restricting access by Iranian students to certain science and engineering programs public. Administrators said the policy conflicted with the institution’s values, but they didn’t believe they had a choice in its implementation because of federal sanctions aiming to prevent Iranian students from taking nuclear concepts back to Iran.

After a week of intense criticism, and clarification from the State Department, the university backtracked on its policy. KEEP READING

 

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