An increasing number of university students in Iran are committing suicide, research carried out by the Higher Council of the Cultural Revolution has revealed.
“Statistics show depression and attempted suicide have significantly increased among university students,” said a deputy minister at the Ministry of Health, Mohammadreza Farahani.
“Social trauma in general has increased among students in the past few years and it is now a cause for grave concern,” Farahani said, mehrkhane.com reported.
Farahani said that young people are failing to take proper care of themselves and suffer from ambivalence about their futures. This, he said, and has triggered a trend in depression.
“In general, six percent of medical students fail to pass their final exams and three percent of them show significant decline,” said Farahani. “This is not because of their IQ, but because of different social traumas.”
“Research shows that social trauma is higher among students living outside of university campuses, in private hostels and accommodation. According to the constitution, higher education should be free... But no attention is being paid to students’ livelihoods. We cannot be indifferent to this.”
The research found that 70 percent of students who study at state universities – all are affiliated to the Ministries of Science and Health — do not live locally.
“Sixty percent of these students live in university campuses,” Farahani added
But Farahani also said that campus facilities are currently insufficient. The University of Medical Science is housing one and half times more people than capacity permits. He also voiced his frustration at the fact that buildings are outdated and fail to live up to necessary standards.
“Despite having 50 years of experience in building university campuses, there is not a single document that outlines necessary regulations,” Farahani said. “To put it into perspective, the University of Medical Science campus is about 7,000 square meters in size, but 4,000 square meters of that space is unusable and needs to be reconstructed. And yet, last year, the university accepted a further 7,000 students in the second semester than in the first.”
According to Farahani, the government had pledged to allocate eight billion tomans (two and a half million dollars), to improving university facilities but, he said, “Unfortunately, the treasury is empty and the money never arrived.”
Read the original article in Persian