The majority of students support banning ‘niqab’ in colleges

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A majority of Norwegian students believe the niqab should be banned in higher education institutions.

 

A recent survey conducted by Sentio on behalf of Universitas, and the Norwegian Student Organisation (NSO) showed that 41% of Norwegian students believe niqab should be banned at universities and colleges,while 39% believed it should be allowed, wrote Universitas.

In 2017, the government proposed to introduce a ban on full-facial apparel in higher education institutions. Students’ representatives are critical of the latest findings.

‘There may be cases where the NSO believes something other than the results of a survey, but we must relate to the organisational democracy we have. Our policy is not adopted as a result of studies among the student population,’ said Mats Beldo, head of the NSO.

Professor at the Faculty of Teacher Education and International Studies at Oslo University College and Akershus (HiOA), Anne Birgitta Nilsen, doesn’t find it surprising that the majority of students support a niqab ban.

‘I can imagine they feel the niqab is unusual. Some people also associate the niqabwith terrorism’, said Nilsen.

But according to Nilsen, those who are used to dealing with people wearing niqab don’t experience the same fear. She said she thinks it’s strange that it has become a matter of importance, as it’s something she considers not to be a problem.

The main argument for a niqab ban in academia is that the garment is a communication impairment in teaching. Nilsen neither agrees, nor disagrees with this, but said that based on available research, people’s perceptions, and feelings, may have made it difficult from a communication perspective.

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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