Search for tag "Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE)"
|1987 (In the year)
||Faced with unrelenting religious persecution involving a wide range of human rights violations, the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) was founded in response to the Iranian government's continuing campaign to deny Iranian Bahá'ís access to higher education.
See BIHE Website.
BIHE developed several unique features which have become its defining strengths. Courses were delivered at the outset by correspondence, soon complemented by in-person classes and tutoring. Later on, leading-edge communication and education technologies were included. In addition, an affiliated global faculty (AGF) was established that comprised of hundreds of accredited professors from universities outside Iran who assisted BIHE as researchers, teachers and consultants.
The BIHE was to evolve such that it could offer 38 university-level programs across 5 faculties and continued to develop and deliver academic programs in Sciences, Engineering, Business and Management, Humanities, and Social Sciences. It provided and continues to provide its students with the necessary knowledge and skills to not only persevere and succeed in their academic and professional pursuits, but to be active agents of change for the betterment of the world.
The BIHE's commitment to high academic standards, international collaboration and its innovative teaching-learning environment has been increasingly recognized as graduates excelled in post graduate studies internationally. [See list] These unique strengths of BIHE, together with the top-ranking marks of its students, have helped secure its graduates places at over 87 prestigious universities and colleges in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia (India).
[Closed Doors, Chapter IV; BIHE]
See the statement The Bahá'í Institute Of Higher Education: A Creative And Peaceful Response To Religious Persecution In Iran presented by the Bahá'í International Community to the 55th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights under Agenda item 10 of the provisional agenda: "The Right to Education" in Geneva, 22 March - 30 April 1999.
See Iran Wire 20 January 2023 for the notice of passing of Dr Parviz Javid, one of the three professors who are credited with founding the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education.
||Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human Rights; Education; persecution, Persecution, Education; BIC statements
||The Bahá’í Open University resumed activities after the seizure of much of their assets four months earlier by the Iranian government.
The institute seemed to be a relatively safe alternative for non-Islamic students until this time when Iranian government agents arrested 36 BIHE faculty members. The Bahá'ís set up a network of more than 45 private libraries in Baha'i homes so that students could access textbooks discreetly. Raids occurring in 1998 led to officials seizing some of these libraries along with many of the photocopiers used to distribute assignments. [The Borgen Magazine 14 November 2021]
It is estimated that by 1998 the BIHE had approximately 150 professors and 900 students. ["Others" In Their Own Land 41min 39sec]
||Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Education; Persecution
|1998 29 Sep
||Starting this date until October 2nd, in Iran, the government raided some 500 private homes and the arrested some 30 faculty members in efforts to close the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education, a decentralized university that aimed to give Bahá’í students access to the education they have been otherwise denied.
The Institute offered Bachelor's degrees in ten subject areas: applied chemistry, biology, dental science, pharmacological science, civil engineering, computer science, psychology, law, literature, and accounting. Within these subject areas, which were administered by five "departments," the Institute was able to offer more than 200 distinct courses each term.
In the beginning, courses were based on correspondence lessons developed by Indiana University, which was one of the first institutions in the West to recognize the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education. Later on, course offerings were developed internally.
Teaching was done principally via correspondence, or, for specialized scientific and technical courses and in other special cases, in small-group classes that were usually held in private homes. Over time, however, the Institute was able to establish a few laboratories, operated in privately owned commercial buildings in and around Teheran, for computer science, physics, dental science, pharmacology, applied chemistry, and language study. The operations of these laboratories were kept prudently quiet, with students cautioned not to come and go in large groups that might give the authorities a reason to object.
Among other significant human rights conventions, Iran is a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966. Parties to this Covenant "recognize the right of everyone to education" and more specifically that "higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means." [“The New York Times” article dated 29 October 1998,
One Country Oct-Dec 1998 Vol 10 Issue 3]
On the 29th of October, 2019, IranWire featured a story on the BIHE and one of its graduates, Pedram Roushan, a physicist originally from Sari in Mazandaran province. On the 28th of August 2020 Pedram Roushan was featured in another IranWire article about his work with the Google Artificial Intelligence Quantum team. They had just published an article called Hartree-Fock on a superconducting qubit quantum computer in "Science Magazine".
||Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Education; Persecution; Human Rights; Education; Persecution, Education; Pedram Roushan;
|1999 19 Apr
||The Islamic Revolutionary Court in Isfahan sentenced Sina Hakiman (10 yrs), Farzad Khajeh Sharifabadi (7 yrs), Havivullhh Ferdosian Najafabadi (7 yrs) and Ziaullah Mirzapanah (3yrs) for crimes against national security. All four were among the thirty-six who were arrested in late September and in early October, 1998 in a concerted government crackdown against Bahá’í education in fourteen cities in Iran.
It was reported that over 500 homes were raided in an attempt to crack down on the Bahá’í Open University. Files, equipment and other property used by the University were seized. From report by Human Rights Watch Academic Freedom Committee.
||Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Education; Persecution, Court cases; Persecution; Court cases; Human Rights; Education
||Some 39 homes of Bahá'ís associated with the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) were raided in a coordinated attack. Educator Kamran Mortezaie served a five-year jail term. Mahmoud Badavam, Noushin Khadem, Farhad Sedghi, Riaz Sobhani and Ramin Zibaie were each sentenced to four year prison terms. The judgments against them cast their activities in support of BIHE as crimes and as “evidence” of their purported aim to subvert the state. Two psychology teachers, Faran Hesami and her husband Kamran Rahimian, were also sentenced to four years in prison. Another BIHE administrator Vahid Mahmoudi was released on 8 January 2012 after his five-year sentence was reportedly suspended. [BWNS910]
||Persecution, Iran; Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Education
|2011 24 Sep
||The arrest of Abdolfattah Soltani, a senior member of the legal team (4 lawyers) representing a number of Bahá'ís in Iran awaiting trial for providing higher education to youth barred from university. Soltani is a co-founder of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, along with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi and others. The Tehran-based Centre was shut down in a police raid in December 2008. [BWNS849]
In 2008 when Shirin Ebadi took the defense of seven Bahá'ís she was accused of changing her religion and her law office was attacked and faced other problems. [Iran Press Watch]
U.S Bahá'í Office of Public Affairs Press Release.
See interview with Mr Soltani by Iran Press Watch.
||Abdolfattah Soltani; Lawyers; Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution; Human Rights; Education; BWNS; Yaran; Persecution, Education
|2012 11 May
||The Universal House of Justice sent a message to the Bahá'ís of Iran near the four-year anniversary of the illegal arrest and imprisonment of the former members of the Yárán and the more recent injustice meted out against the co-workers of the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE). [BWNS823, Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 11 May, 2012, In Farsi]
||Yaran; Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Other; Persecution; UHJ; BWNS; persecution; Persecution, Education
|2013 15 Jul
||Iranian filmmaker and blogger as well as a former Islamist hardliner who has become an outspoken critic of the government, Mohammad Nourizad, kissed the feet of 4 year old Artin whose parents had been arrested for participation in the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education. [Wikipedia entry; Faith and a Future p38-39]
Some years later Mr Nourizad repeated this gesture, kissing the feet of a six year old boy named Bashir whose parents, Azita Rafizadeh and Peyman Kushak Baghi had been sentenced to four year prison terms for teaching at the BIHE.
||Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Education; Persecution; Human Rights; Education; Mohammad Nourizad
|2015 27 Feb
||The premiere of the film To Light a Candle by Iranian-Canadian filmmaker and journalist, Maziar Mahari. The gala in Los Angeles was part of a campaign called "Education is Not a Crime", started in 2014, to highlight the plight of Bahá'í students in Iran and their recourse to the denial of education, the Bahá'í Institute of Higher Education. The film was also screened in some 300 locations around the world. [BWNS1041, BWNS1025]
See also Not a Crime.
||Los Angeles; United States
||Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Education; Persecution; Documentaries; Education is not a Crime; BWNS; Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE)
|2017 near the end of Oct
||Fariba Kamalabadi, a member of the former leadership group of the Bahá'ís called the "Yaran", concluded her ten-year prison sentence. She was the second individual from among the former Yaran to be released. She, along with five others, were arrested on the 14th of May, 2008.
Mrs. Kamalabadi had graduated from high school with honours but was barred from attending university because of her Faith. In her mid-30s, she embarked on an eight-year period of informal study and ultimately received an advanced degree in developmental psychology from the Bahá’í Institute of Higher Education (BIHE), an alternative institution established by the Bahá’í community of Iran to provide higher education for its young people. She worked as a developmental psychologist before her arrest and imprisonment. She was married with three children. Along with the deprivations of imprisonment itself (she had spent 2 1/2 years of the 10-year sentence in solitary confinement), Mrs. Kamalabadi was also deprived of irreplaceable family moments, including the birth of her first grandchild and the weddings of her daughters. She was 55 years old upon her release. [BWNS1217]
See Huffington Post for an article entitled "Iran’s Bahá'í Problem" by Payam Akhavan about the visit of Ms. Faezeh Hashemi, the well-known daughter of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who made a visit to her home while she was on leave from prison.
Ms Hashemi, herself a former MP, was heavily criticized after she met with Ms Kamalabadi while the latter was on leave from prision. See the article in The Guardian for details.
||Yaran; Persecution, Iran; Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE); Court cases; Persecution, Other; Persecution; Human rights; Persecution, Education; Court cases; BWNS
|2021. 14 Nov
||Update on the BIHE: The Institute has adapted using today’s technology. As of this date 955 staff members operated the hybrid online and in-person school. The school offered more than 1,050 classes in its associate, undergraduate or graduate programs. Despite ongoing persecution of the BIHE recorded an average of 1,000 applicants and accepted 450 new first-year students annually.
Although a number of Iranian Bahá'ís were still held back by Iran’s refusal to recognize the institution, BIHE graduates would go on to study at a choice of 98 different international universities and colleges. [Borgen Magazine 14 November 2021]
||Education; Bahai Institute for Higher Education (BIHE)
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- Brain Drain from Iran to the United States, The, by Akbar E. Torbat, in Middle East Journal, 56:2 (2002 Spring). Excerpt from article mentioning the exodus of Bahá'í intelligentsia from Iran in 1979, and the Bahá'ís' attempt at underground education. [about]
- Constructive Resilience, by Firaydoun Javaheri, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 28:4 (2018). How the perseverance of the Bahá'ís in Iran has resulted in the generality of the Iranian people beginning to admire and, in some cases, arising to assist the Bahá'ís. [about]
- Hidden Words and Sounds: Tracing Iranian Legacies and Traumas in the Music of the Bahá'ís of North America, by Daniel Akira Stadnicki (2019). On the legacy of Persian culture, aesthetics, and history of religious persecution as reflected in Bahá'í American music; themes of religious oppression, persecution, and martyrdom; Iranian diaspora, transnational music-making, and cosmopolitanism. [about]
- Islam and Minorities: The Case of the Baha'is, by Christopher Buck, in Studies in Contemporary Islam, 5.1–2 (2003-06). "The Bahá'í question" is really a test case for whether Islam can legitimately claim to respect human rights today. Includes a Persian translation of the original article. [about]
- Redefining Resiliency, Resistance, and Oppression: A Case Study of the Bahá'i Underground University in Iran, by Kimiya Tahirih Missaghi (2021). On the nature of resiliency in a systematically oppressed population; the existence and growth of the Bahá'í Institute of Higher Education exemplify perseverance and resistance under intergenerational pressure; a non-violent approach to seeking justice. [about]
- What Is Bahá'í Education?, by Filip Boicu (2022-08). different current expectations about what should fall under the topic of "Bahá’í education"; three types of curricula (FUNDAEC, Anisa, BIHE) and their theoretical sources; these must be drawn together into a field of study; the importance of universities. [about]
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