University overturns decision to bar Iranian students from science programs after consulting with State Department officials.

Iranian-scienceThe University of Massachusetts, under pressure for a policy that barred Iranian nationals from seeking admission to certain graduate science courses, reversed itself and announced it will now accept the students.

The school had originally cited concerns that admitting the Iranians to some science courses related to nuclear energy could violate U.S. sanctions against Iran. The U.S. and Iran are currently in talks about Iran’s nuclear program.

In its statement, the school said it had reversed its position after consulting with the State Department and outside counsel.

“This approach reflects the university’s long-standing commitment to wide access to educational opportunities,” said Michael Malone, vice chancellor for research and engagement. “We have always believed that excluding students from admission conflicts with our institutional values and principles. It is now clear, after further consultation and deliberation, that we can adopt a less restrictive policy.”

(Next page: The history behind the policy)

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