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Can political escalation between Iran and the western world affect Iranian students in getting admission from university in Canada, Australia, and European Countries?

After two years of hardworking, TOEFL exams, publishing articles in journals, etc. I am ready to apply for many universites to pursue my PhD, but I am wondering if it would be successful or not. The political escalation between the Iranian regime and the western world is escalating on a daily basis and universities may reluctant to accept applications because of sanctions or any other reasons. Even they issue the admission the embassies may cause some trouble for students. I don't know what to do???

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    Don't confuse the actions of governments with the actions of individuals. There may be visa problems and such, but generally individuals in academia are welcoming. Here in the US, I have neighbors from Iran and have studied with Iranians even when relations were much worse than now. Interesting conversations over coffee. – Buffy Jan 24 at 15:39
  • Thank you very much for your comments. – Armin Jan 24 at 16:14
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    @Buffy Agreed, but I would not downplay the extent and impact of visa issues. – Bryan Krause Jan 24 at 17:32
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Can political escalation between Iran and the western world affect Iranian students in getting admission from university in Canada, Australia, and European Countries?

I will go ahead and disagree with Buffy, many other on this page and get plenty of downvotes. The truth is yes, it can very well effect your chances. Here is an example,

https://nltimes.nl/2019/10/17/amsterdam-univ-scientist-fire-rejecting-turkish-student

This was just one extreme incident where nationality based bias was explicitly mentioned. I am pretty sure anyone can get away with implicit bias to a certain extend. The very sad truth is some people get railed up in politics and start to overlook people or institutions based on their governments decisions. I was talking about a fairly old Romanian mathematician and he impilictly mentioned similar issues. Romania, as you well know, was very much in the USSR orbit. From what I understand, he or people around him had various issues regarding their country of origin and he was still troubled by the fact. I have also heard (from the 2nd or 3rd hand) that goes along the lines "students from X country can't do well here" allegedly uttered by an admission offical for a doctoral program. There are also some alleged bias for certain ethnic groups for undergraduate admission in US. Court on that is still going on I believe. I have also been personally warned by an American mathematician saying something along the lines of "you will have a harder time getting admitted because of your nationality".

I am ready to apply for many universites to pursue my PhD, but I am wondering if it would be successful or not.

You should apply. These are relatively fringe cases. Although it is possible that a bias exists, it is less likely for an entire admission board to be biased. You might not get into a program that you normally get but that is life. We can't give up on our aspirations because of some sugar coded facism. If you have the financial resources, I would advice you to apply more places. Most schools publish names of their graduate students as well. You can check and see if they have students from Iran or another Islamic country.

universities may reluctant to accept applications because of sanctions or any other reasons. Even they issue the admission the embassies may cause some trouble for students.

I have no opinions on this point.

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  • It's my honor to have your opinion here. I keep them in my mind. Thank you very much. – Armin Jan 24 at 18:33
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Yes, unfortunately, and there is precedent (although not specifically with Iran). In Canada, we had a problem between our government and that of Saudi Arabia. The government of Saudi Arabia chose to restrict how their students could study here (explanation here).

So to the question: is it possible? Yes it is and has happened before. However, as @Buffy said, the actions of governments and those of individuals are not the same thing. I know that Canada, at least, does not restrict entry specifically for being from a particular country. It is, admittedly, more difficult for residents of some countries to gain entry here than it is for residents of other countries. However, so far as I know, in modern (post cold war) history, Canada has never closed its doors completely to students of another country. The USA, again unfortunately, has done things like this very recently.

My advice (and I hope that of others) is to proceed as though this isn't happening. Apply to the universities you want. If nothing happens to restrict you, then not applying is a bad decision.

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  • Thank you very much for your comment. – Armin Jan 24 at 18:33

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