PRESS RELEASE | September 13, 2016

Jamiya Project reconnects Syrian academics and students in launch of new pilot university courses for refugees.

JORDAN - ­ The Jamiya Project launched its first pilot university courses for Syrian refugees. The pilots will test the Jamiya Project’s innovative model that brings together Syrian academics, European universities and education technology to make higher education courses accessible and relevant for refugees.

The course was developed by teachers at the Department of Applied IT at University of Gothenburg in collaboration with a team of Syrian academics working for the Jamiya Project. The Norwegian Refugee Council and Jesuit Refugee Service will facilitate the course for 30 students across two learning centres in Za’atari and Amman respectively, and the online education platform, Edraak, will host the course online.

By involving Syrian academics in the creation and delivery of the course, the Jamiya Project engages exiled academics to unlock their skills, knowledge and capacity in meeting the needs of their old students.

Research by the EU commission estimates there are over 90,000 Syrian refugee students in the Middle East facing barriers preventing them from accessing higher education. Breaking down these barriers, the 12­week course, Intro duction to Programming in Java, is free to access, taught in Arabic, certified by the University of Gothenburg, and is delivered in a blended­learning format: online teaching by Syrian academics is complimented with face­to­face seminars in partnership with local NGOs in Jordan.

“I’ve been here for 3.5 years. I want to continue the course in Java because I really like the field,” said a Jamiya Project student at Za’atari Camp who completed his scientific baccalaureate (high school equivalent in Syria) but was unable to accept a faculty of pharmacy position due to the conflict. “I feel that I can do well, and continue in this field of studies and advance to a higher level.”

Using this pilot as blueprint, Jamiya hopes plans to scale­up the model to make a significant impact on the Syrian population unable to access higher education.