SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: October 14, 2022

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Various Institutions

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Afghanistan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On October 14, 2022, it was reported that Taliban officials had barred women from selecting a wide range of subjects for their university entrance exams.

Women who went to take university entrance exams found that their registration forms did not offer among available subjects agriculture, economics, engineering, geology, journalism, and veterinary science. Abdul Qadir Khamosh, the Taliban’s head of the university exams, confirmed that certain subjects were removed from the list.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about de facto governing authorities restricting women’s exercise of the rights to academic freedom and the right to education. State authorities and de facto governing forces have a responsibility to refrain from such restrictions and should respect and promote academic freedom and the right to education. Efforts to bar students from pursuing academic subjects on the basis of gender undermine academic freedom, the right to education, and democratic society generally.