The Mail Online is reporting, via Reuters, on new that a proposed USA-Iran education exchange programme has been put on hold.
Just before last year’s nuclear deal with Iran, five U.S. universities visited the country to explore renewing educational ties that flourished before the Islamic Revolution.
The group, which included representatives from Rutgers and the University of Southern California (USC), found a desire on both sides for more exchanges and concluded that U.S. students and scholars would be warmly welcomed in Iran.
But there was a hitch – the head of the delegation, Allan Goodman, was a former U.S. intelligence analyst. In March this year he was attacked in hardline Iranian media reports which have painted the June 2015 visit as a U.S. attempt to build an espionage network and undermine the Iranian state.
U.S. officials and Goodman’s employer, the Institute of International Education (IIE), say that’s not the case and that there was no U.S. government involvement in the trip.
Nevertheless, the negative press reports have cooled efforts to rebuild educational ties in the wake of the landmark nuclear deal, two U.S. officials said. They said the U.S. government is now cautioning American universities against moving too fast and that the schools themselves are treading warily.
“People looked at that backlash and said ‘Let’s go slow,'” said one of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
What do you think? Are educational exchanges to the Middle East a good idea? Let us know via Twitter.
Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or just someone who cares about education and has something to get off your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.
We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!