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Student Group Protests University Quota For Militia Members

Basij members on parade
Basij members on parade
TEHRAN -- Iran's largest pro-reform student group, the Office to Foster Unity, has protested reports that members of the Basij militia could be given a quota for university places.

The group's statement was issued following comments on January 17 by the head of Iran's academic testing organization that his body has been ordered by the judiciary and the state inspectorate to give "active" members of the Basij militia a 40 percent university-enrollment quota.

He added that "despite the deep respect we have for Basijis," giving them such a quota would deprive other potentially good candidates of university places.

A member of the Office to Foster Unity, Bahareh Hedayat, told Radio Farda that the move is another attempt by Iran's government to make universities "obedient." Since the coming to power of Iran's hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, pressure on universities has increased.