There are up to 100,000 Syrian refugees in the Middle East who cannot access higher education. The barriers they face include the cost of tuition fees, language skills, livelihood pressures and family commitments amongst others.
This situation is not only creating a ‘lost generation’ of young Syrians unable to fulfill their potential, but is also making the eventual task of rebuilding Syria after the conflict is over much harder, and potentially heightening the risk of prolonged instability.
The Project model reverses the challenge of displacement by replacing the infrastructural and institutional backing required for higher education, whilst using a method that blends online and local learning. It provides a scalable solution and drawing on the Syrian community to make education relevant and accessible.
1) Accessible and relevant content: Syrian academics and European university staff will work together in converting existing courses into Arabic and supplementing them with relevant content. This provides a learning bridge between two educational systems, as well as exposing students and academics to new cultures and ways of working.
2) Blended and flexible learning: courses will be delivered mostly online, making use of the flexibility that self study provides. This will be supplemented with face-to-face short courses, local student groups and spaces, and online tutoring.
3) Useful qualifications and skills: courses will provide both employable skills and accreditation valid under the European Credit Transfer System. This gives students the qualified recognition they desire, which could also be used in future studies, as well as skills to succeed professionally.
The Jamiya Project plans to pilot two short courses to test the underlying concepts behind the model. The pilot will be limited in scale to ensure implementation is manageable whilst capturing quick learning. Two courses will be offered across Jordan and Turkey in Applied IT and Global Studies.