Radio Netherlands: Iranian students are not welcome at the Technical University Twente in the town of Enschede. At the request of the Education Ministry and the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the university has agreed not to admit any Iranian students. Radio Netherlands
By Ruben Temming
Iranian students are not welcome at the Technical University Twente in the town of Enschede. At the request of the Education Ministry and the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the university has agreed not to admit any Iranian students. The government fears that Iranian students and workers would steal sensitive nuclear information to help their government develop nuclear weapons. The university’s decision is the direct result of a 2006 UN resolution calling on member states to prevent Iran from gaining access to nuclear knowledge.
The UN has been concerned about the Iranian nuclear research programme for some time. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, says there is no evidence that Iran is developing its own nuclear weapon. However, at the same time Iran is accused of not providing sufficient information on its uranium enrichment programme.
The most recent US intelligence report on Iran also concludes that there is no evidence of an Iranian nuclear arms programme, but it does accuse Iran of withholding information. Tehran insists that its enrichment programme is intended exclusively for domestic production of the fuel rods needed for a nuclear power plant currently under construction.
Twente University is allowed to admit Iranian students on condition it guarantees they will not have access to nuclear information, a guarantee the university says it is unable to give. So far, three Iranian students have been refused. Iranians who want to study psychology would also be rejected. A spokesperson says students are free to wander around the campus, and 24/7 surveillance would be impossible. Iranian students already studying at Twente will be allowed to complete their studies.
Twente is the first technical university in the Netherlands to introduce such strict measures. The Delft Technical University says it first considers the subject that the applicant wants to study. In other words, Delft does not reject Iranian students on principle. The Eindhoven Technical University refuses to comment and refers all inquiries to the foreign affairs ministry.