Discrimination in education

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Discrimination in education is the act of discriminating against people belonging to certain categories in enjoying full right to education. It is considered a violation of enunciated human rights.[1]

Like other forms of discrimination, education discrimination can also be based on ethnicity, nationality, age, sex, race, economic condition, disability and religion.

Education discrimination in different countries


Australia has a history of racial discrimination against Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders in many areas, including education. Each state now has comprehensive anti-discrimination laws that prohibit such discrimination.[2] Australia also has passed the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 that prevent discrimination against students with disabilities.[3]


Even though everybody is entitled to nine years of compulsory education in China, there are reports showing that minorities including people with disabilities are discriminated in basic education in China.[4] An example of such discrimination that is reflected in 2013 Human Rights Watch report is children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and intellectual disability who were denied enrollment in nearby schools due to their disabilities. Their parents were then to suffer traveling long distances from home in seek of finding a place for their disable children for basic education.

There are also policies for geographical allocation of available sits in higher education system which led to Regional Discrimination in Higher Education Entrance Examination. In China every person has a place of origin in connection to his/her birthplace and moving or resettlement to provinces/zones other than the ones of origin are subject to receive permit from the authorities. The students subject to regional discrimination are those who managed to have a better record in the relevant exams but are denied studying at top universities due to their place of origin.


Cuba has a diverse and multicultural society and there is potentially an available arena for different racial discrimination to grow. There are some who believe that educational system in Cuba suffers from racial discrimination especially against Afro-Cubans,[5][6] the existence of counterparts who believe otherwise[7] can not be neglected however.

In the 1960s and 1970s, when the sexual minority groups were sentenced to stay in rehabilitation camps, they automatically lost the opportunity for higher education and were bound to "re-education" by the state. In 2010, Fidel Castro acknowledged such discrimination during his rule, regretting that he did not pay enough attention to the “great injustice” suffered.[8]

Islamic Republic of Iran

After Islamic revolution Bahá'í students have been systematically expelled from Iranian universities on grounds of religion.[9]

United States

In the United States, there was historical discrimination in education against minorities and segregated schools until the 1960s. This mostly affected aboriginal inhabitants, African Americans, Hispanic and Filipino immigrants and also individuals with poor economic conditions.[10] Right now various federal laws prohibit discrimination in the realm of education on the basis of race, gender, age, national origin and other protected characteristics. Federal laws that ban education discrimination include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.[11] In 2015, University of Massachusetts ban study of Iranians in certain fields however after protests and pressure of activists the decision was reversed.[12]

See also


  1. "Convention against Discrimination in Education 1960, Paris, 14 December 1960. United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (unesco), definition". June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Human rights". Attorney-General of Australia. Retrieved 20 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Disability standards for education". Attorney-General of Australia. Retrieved 20 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "As Long as They Let Us Stay in Class" Barriers to Education for Persons with Disabilities in China (PDF). New York: Human Rights Watch. 2013. ISBN 9781623130343.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Race as a Challenge to Cuba's Educational System- Havana times". October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "For Blacks in Cuba, the Revolution Hasn't Begun- The New York Times". March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Cuba Has No Racial Discrimination- Havana times". April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Fidel Castro regrets discrimination against gays in Cuba- The Telegraph". September 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Bahá'í student expelled from Iranian university 'on grounds of religion'-The guardian". February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Tamura, Eileen H (March 2008). The History of Discrimination in U.S. Education. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230611030.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "US laws concerning discrimination in education, definition and explanations". June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Schuppe, Jon; Jarrett, Tracy. "University of Massachusetts Reverses Ban on Iranian Science Students". NBC News. NBC news. Retrieved 25 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>