The crisis in Syria continues to have a devastating impact on professors, university students, and the education sector, not only in Syria but also in the neighboring countries that are hosting so many displaced Syrians. In this report, the Institute of International Education (IIE) and its Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis look at the conditions and educational needs of Syrian university students and scholars in Turkey. “We Will Stop Here and Go No Further: Syrian University Students & Scholars in Turkey” is based on first-hand research and interviews conducted in Turkey in June and July 2014 through a joint effort by IIE and the University of California, Davis.
The report’s title refers to two possibilities. On the one hand, the authors conclude that a large number of Syrian young people will remain in Turkey even after the war in Syria concludes, as “Turkey’s size and supportive policies hold the potential to afford Syrians with educational and professional opportunities an environment to rebuild their lives.” Yet at the same time, “the challenges of displacement risk marginalizing these young people, leaving their human potential unfulfilled. If successive age-cadres of Syrians are unable to continue their education, Syria will lose its future doctors, teachers, engineers, and university professionals.”
“We Will Stop Here and Go No Further” concludes that as few as 1–2 percent of Syrian university-age students in Turkey were successfully enrolled at Turkish universities last year, including less than 1 percent of young women. These enrollment rates, however, increased by more than 300 percent between 2012–13 and 2013–14.
The report identifies:
- The educational needs of Syrian faculty and university-age students in Turkey, including the barriers they face in accessing higher education.
- Recommendations for increasing Syrians’ access to higher education in Turkey.
- Opportunities and challenges for the international community to support Syrian university students and scholars in Turkey.
Despite the clear and substantial difficulties for Syrian university students [in Turkey], the Turkish government appears to be laying a legal and administrative foundation for increased higher education options. Whether this promise will be fulfilled will depend on both Turkish policies and the international community’s response to potential opportunities for partnership.“We Will Stop Here and Go No Further: Syrian University Students & Scholars in Turkey” – IIE / UC Davis
IIE-UC Davis Study on the Syrian Conflict, Refugee Crisis, and Higher Education
“We Will Stop Here and Go No Further” marks the third phase of a regional study by IIE and the University of California, Davis on the conditions and educational needs of Syrian university students and scholars in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. It follows earlier reports on the situations in Lebanon, “The War Follows Them: Syrian University Students & Scholars in Lebanon,” and Jordan, “Uncounted and Unacknowledged: Syria’s University Students & Academics in Jordan.”
Supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the project analyzes the impact of the refugee crisis on higher education and explores possible solutions for both Syrians and their host communities. It aims to provide policy and programmatic recommendations for increasing Syrians’ access to higher education, with the hope that donors, governments, international NGOs, and universities will use this research to develop effective local, regional, and global responses to the crisis.