Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Afghan Government Banning Women from Higher Education
December 21, 2022

​"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the decision by the government of Afghanistan to ban women from studying at all public and private universities. This deplorable action prevents millions from pursuing an education and the better life it brings. It will surely do irreparable harm to an entire Afghan society deprived of the future contributions from these bright and talented women that a postsecondary education would spur.

Many of our colleges and universities have offered support to Afghan students and scholars who were able to leave their country when the Taliban regained power, including raising scholarship funds for displaced students, placing scholars in U.S. graduate programs, and developing creative options for students seeking to transfer credits from Afghan institutions that may have destroyed their records. That is why we wrote Congress last year seeking legislation to assist those students and scholars who found their way to the United States, as well as asking the State Department to extend flexibility to them in the visa process.

American higher education will continue to do all that it can to assist Afghan students and scholars in the United States. Sadly, this latest action by the Taliban government to curtail the rights of Afghan women only serves to confirm the fears of what would happen under this government. We call on the Taliban to do the right thing and reverse course. If they do not, Afghanistan will be isolated from the community of nations that recognize and celebrate the unique ability of higher education to fuel individual mobility and advance the public good."

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