Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for an end to the “superficial and unwise” policies of “gender segregation” at Iranian universities as well as the “inappropriate retiring” of professors.

The presidential website reports that Ahmadinejad wrote to Science Minister Kamran Daneshjoo and Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi on Wednesday, stressing that they should refrain from retiring any more academic staff at universities until guidelines for such retirements are approved by the High Commission of Cultural Revolution.

The past three years have seen a sharp rise in the removal and retirement of university professors deemed to be deviating from Islamic principles as dictated by the establishment.

In March 2010, the Minister of Science announced that university academic staff who are not “in line with the regime” and do not subscribe to the principle of Velayat Faqih [supreme leadership of an expert cleric] will be dismissed.

Hundreds of professors have been fired or forced into early retirement, especially in the humanities departments, where the ministry plans a complete overhaul of course content and teaching methods.

Ahmadinejad also commented on the recent plan to segregate university classes by gender, describing it as a “superficial and unwise move.”

Several universities have announced initiatives to establish single-sex classes; however, the Minister of Science said yesterday he would not describe the changes as “gender segregation” but more as a comprehensive effort to make the universities “more Islamic.”