One Tehran university after another announced today that they would close classrooms next week, as protests continued across Iran in the wake of Mahsa Amini’s murder, and despite Friday, 24 September, being the first day of Iran’s academic year.
The holding of in-person classes after more than two years of pandemic has been postponed in favour of more virtual sessions – even as internet access has been disrupted or outright cut in many Iranian cities.
The first university to make this announcement was Tehran University, which this morning sent a text message to students saying that its classes will be held online at least in the first week.
Shahid Beheshti University was the next to announce that, due to “two days of official holidays next week, and travel difficulties for students, classes will be held through the [online] learning management system”.
And this evening Al-Zahra and Khajeh Nasireddin Tusi universities also said that classes in the first academic week would be online.
Iran’s internet slowdown or shutdown – which came into force in an effort to limit the Mahsa Amini protests – means that many students will be unable to join online classes. Internet access in Sanandaj and Saqqez, two cities in Iranian Kurdistan, Mahsa Amini’s home province, has been disrupted for at least two days. But the internet outage has since spread to other major Iranian cities.