Higher Education in Syria

The earliest colleges founded in Syria were the School of Medicine (established 1903) and the Institute of Law (established 1913). The university education was founded in 1919 on a free of charge basis.

Damascus University, known previously as the Syrian University, the oldest university in Syria
Later on, the Ministry of Higher Education was established in 1966 to supervise the scientific and educational institutions, such as, universities, academic councils, the Arabic Language Academy and educational hospitals. Most post-secondary education is state provided, but legislation passed in 2001 allows the establishment of some private universities and colleges. Resources for education have risen in absolute terms over the past decade, but it is difficult to match the rate of population growth. Colleges charge modest fees ($10-20 a year) if the student achieves the sufficient marks in his Baccalaureate exams. If not, the student may opt to pay higher fees ($1500-3000) to enroll. There are some private schools and colleges but their fees are much higher.

Domestic policies emphasize engineering and medicine in Syria's universities, with less emphasis on the arts, law, and business. Most universities in Syria follow the French model of the high education, the university stages and the academic degrees are:

First stage: the License awarded after 4 years to 6 years depending on the field.

Second stage: the DEA or DESS 1-2 years postgraduate degree equivalent to the master's degree in the American-English systems.

Third stage: the doctorate 3-5 years after the DEA or an equivalent degree.

Until recently 20 private universities have been given licenses, 14 of which have actually opened the doors and 6 to be opened soon. Private universities will have an independent academic and management structure representing the owner and will be headed by the president of the university. There will also be a university board consisting of either: chancellor, faculty or division. There are a number of private and public universities as well as few technical institutes.Some of the private and public universities are:

Syrian Private University
Al Rasheed International Private University for Science & Technology - Damascus
International University for Sciences and Technology (IUST) - Damascus
University of Kalamoon - Deir Atiyah
The Arab European University - Sahnaya
Al-Jazeera University - Deir ez Zor
Al-Manara University - Latakia
Al-Andalus University - Qadmous

Damascus University in Damascus
Al Furat University in Deir ez Zor
Aleppo University in Aleppo
Al-Baath University in Homs
Tishreen University in Lattakia
Syrian Virtual University in Damascus

The centre for Measurement and Evaluation in Higher Education(CME) which was established in 2012 in Syria, has become inevitable to assess the performance of students, programs ,and educational institutions. The foundation of the center is essential to set clear criteria for cross-border certificates based on the methodology, techniques and institutional standard measurement tools. CME was found to measure the knowledge, skills and attitudes, in a scientific way, to ensure the quality of higher education outputs so they meet the developmental needs.


Higher technical institutes
Higher Institute of Marine Research
Higher Institute of Water Resource Management
Higher Institute of Business Administration

Virtual University
In September 2002, the first virtual unibersity was founded. through which students can obtain degrees from international institutions. The university is called "Syrian Virtual University".