The Syrian Higher-Education Sector: Past, Present, and Future

  • Hani Mourtada


The story of the Syrian Higher-Education Sector (SHES) is the story of the war itself that has swept over the country for the last six years. The decade preceding the war witnessed significant strides in the sector that included major regulatory reforms, a burgeoning quality-assurance system, a proactive approach to internationalization, improvements in the curricula and human capacity building, an increased awareness of the importance of relevance to society and market needs, and sweeping expansions in higher-education outlets and course offerings across Syria. Not only did the war bring the promise of the past to a complete halt, but it also resulted in a process of agonizing deterioration in the sector due to a host of factors. SHES became one of the victims of the Syrian War. The predicament of the sector is such that many facets of its development have been reversed. Currently, SHES administration has entered into crisis management mode dealing with such issues as demographic shifts, brain drain, decreased resources, and damaged infrastructure. As the war enters its seventh year, visions for the period of post-war reconstruction begin to surface providing a glimpse of the tremendous challenges ahead.


Syria Syrian higher-education sector Syrian war Vocational education training Brain drain Quality assurance and accreditation Post-war requirements 


  1. Unpublished documents of the Department of Planning and Statistics, Ministry of Higher Education, Syria (n.d.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hani Mourtada
    • 1
  1. 1.Damascus UniversityDamascusSyria

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