Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la formation et la profession enseignante (CRIFPE)

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University of Cambridge, British Council, & The Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) (2019). The State of Higher Education in Syria Pre-2011. Cambridge, UK : British Council, University of Cambridge, CARA.


The British Council and the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara) are very pleased to have collaborated on commissioning this report on the state of higher education in Syria up to the outbreak of war. Both of our organisations are committed to working with scholars affected or displaced by conflict. Nowhere has the impact of war on universities, their staff and their students been more profound than in Syria, an impact that has spilled over into surrounding countries and has affected multiple cohorts of potential students in Syria, its neighbourhood and beyond. The British Council and Cara are also committed to assisting academics and students affected by conflict not only during times of war but also in its aftermath. This includes protecting and advancing scholarship for the duration of hostilities as well as making efforts to reconstruct higher education systems as soon as conditions allow. The current study is designed to provide an essential baseline understanding for those engaged in work on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Syrian higher education system in future. Moreover, the wide availability of such a report is vital in helping Syrian academics involved in this process to inform their international partners in such efforts. We are very grateful to the authors of the report for this meticulous and sensitive study. Cara had drawn on the same team of experts to produce a separate report on the post-2011 situation in Syrian higher education. The work was carried out by Syrian scholars in exile, in collaboration with colleagues in the UK led by Professor Colleen McLaughlin at the School of Education, Cambridge. This collaboration is typical of the work undertaken by the Cara Syria Programme, which involves the building of international teams and networks and extending state-of-the-art research techniques to Syrian researchers. The British Council has been undertaking and commissioning research both on its own and together with partners such as UNHCR and Cara, to understand both the impact of conflict and of displacement on young people of tertiary education age, and their challenges and aspirations for the future, as well as the opportunities they have been able to access and harness under trying conditions. Together we hope these studies and their associated activities will contribute to the future efforts of many of these young people in reconstructing their country when the war is over. It will also be Syrian academics themselves, wherever they are currently in exile, who will lead the way in training new teachers, doctors, engineers and other professionals necessary to rebuild the country. They will lead in setting the standards necessary to help Syria back towards its place in the international community. We are humbled by the commitment of Syrian scholars and the aspirations of the generations of potential students and scholars who have been impacted by this protracted conflict. We hope that our contribution through this research will be to play some small part towards forging a more promising future for Syria, its higher education system, its scholars and all its citizens.


Logos des universités associées au CRIFPE

Adresse civique

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
90, avenue Vincent d'Indy
Pavillon Marie-Victorin – C-536
Outremont (Québec) H2V 2S9

Adresse postale

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
CRIFPE – C-543
C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec) H3C 3J7