Inside Higher Ed:
"In a policy dated Feb. 6, the [University of Massachusetts at Amherst] ... said that it will no longer admit Iranian nationals to a range of programs: chemical engineering, chemistry, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical and industrial engineering, microbiology, physics, and polymer science and engineering. The university cites as its rationale a sanctions law passed in 2012 that restricts Iranian citizens seeking to prepare for a career in that country’s energy or nuclear science sectors from getting visas to study in the United States. ... "Colleges and universities in the U.S. have found that Iranian students who travel abroad during their studies are being denied reentry by the Department of Homeland Security as a result of these and other regulations," the UMass policy states. "There are significant penalties, both civil and criminal, that could potentially impact faculty, staff and students, for violations of this Act and the related regulations and restrictions." But critics of UMass’s policy ... point out that while the 2012 statute tasks the State Department with rejecting student visa applications in certain cases, it doesn’t specify anything about universities’ admissions policies. In other words, it leaves enforcement up to the government, not the universities. ... The Boston Globe reported that an unnamed State Department official said the agency evaluated all visa applications "individually" and that U.S. law did not require broad rejections of students from any country. “U.S. law does not prohibit qualified Iranian nationals coming to the United States for education in science and engineering,” the official told the Globe. ..."
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