About Access to Higher Education for Syrian Refugees and IDP’s Programme
To prepare for post-conflict reconstruction of Syria and integration in host communities
The Syrian Civil War, erupted in the spring of 2011, has taken thousands of lives and has had enormous devastating effect on infrastructure and economy. The conflict destroyed the security, health and education systems, leaving no choice for Syrians but to leave their homes. There are now eight million displaced people within Syria, while about four million have fled from Syria to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. This will have a long-term consequence for the future reconstruction of Syria, as these people now lack any meaningful opportunity to continue their education.
Over 400,000 people (and counting) in the age group 18-24 have fled Syria and less than 5% now have access to higher education. This lack of access to education has both short and long-term consequences. In the short-term youth are left isolated without a structure to devote their time to and which can lead to unrest and potential radicalization, while in the longer-term they do not gain the skills needed to rebuild Syria post-conflict.
The HES project aims to tackle the acute and overwhelming need to improve Syrian youth access to higher education in Syria (SIG), Iraq (KRG), Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, by providing overall 10,000 Syrians with the skills needed to reconstruct their country in the long-term, and give back to their host communities in the short-term, whilst also building the capacity of the higher education sector in the region. This is done in a variety of ways.
The main focus is on enrolling Syrian refugees in the region in higher education, ranging from short language courses or certificate courses to full-time vocational or academic bachelor education. To achieve this, SPARK has (indirect) partner agreements with approximately 18 HE institutes. Also, SPARK aims to rapidly and cost-efficiently scale on-going local initiatives. These students are mentored and supported to ensure successful completion of these education opportunities. SPARK aims to create new, and professionalize existing Syrian student unions in cooperation with the European Student Union. SPARK aims to build the capacity of several HE institutes in the host countries, as well as the capacity of HE institutes inside Syria, in order to professionalize them. Lastly, SPARK aims to bring together existing and new initiatives in the region by organizing several regional conferences on the matter of HE in the region.
Early in 2015, SPARK adopted a more regional approach. In collaboration with SPARK’s units in Erbil (KRG, Iraq), Gaziantep, Turkey, and Beirut, Lebanon. SPARK started scoping missions to expand its work in Jordan as well, SPARK started working with Luminus Education, a leading education provider in the field of technical and vocational training in Jordan. Moreover, SPARK established partnerships with Al Quds College, a subsidiary of Luminus Education, which was founded 34 years ago and is Jordan’s leading Community College, offering diploma programmes in various technical and vocational fields. Since 2014, Al Quds College has been directly involved also in serving Syrian refugees.
SPARK aims to support enrolling an initial 10,000 Syrians in higher education, in order to provide them with the skills needed to reconstruct Syria in the long-term, while giving back to their host communities in the short term. SPARK’s programmes focus on education in the local language (Arabic or Kurdish) where possible and in English when required. Additional programmes are in relevant areas to the needs of the region, e.g. mechanics, nursing on the vocational level, and banking/project management on the bachelor level.
Scholarship Selection Criteria
Spark Scholarship Scheme
The deadline for application for the SPARK Scholarship in Lebanon, Iraq (KRG) is June 12, 23:59 h.
The deadline for applications for the SPARK Scholarship in Turkey is June 16, 2017 23:59 h.
The deadline for applications for the SPARK Scholarship in Jordan is September 5, 23:59h.
The aim of the SPARK scholarship scheme is to assist educational institutions in Jordan, KRG, Lebanon and Turkey with their response strategy amid the Syrian crisis, to contribute to the study and career prospects of Syrian refugees in these neighbouring countries, and to help build community cohesion. ).
Suitable candidates for the scholarship scheme are motivated Syrian students with promising pre-qualification profiles who want to play an active and meaningful role in their communities, either in their host countries or in the future reconstruction of Syria. The SPARK scholarship scheme can be used for a number of selected institutes in Jordan, KRG, Lebanon and Turkey.
The SPARK scholarship scheme is a contribution to the costs of selected programmes as well as subsistence support. The course fees are covered in the above-mentioned countries. In some countries, additional allowances will be covered and are considered to be sufficient to cover one person’s living expenses during one year of studies at the time. The scholarship holders must cover any additional costs from their own resources. For some programmes, scholarship holders may be asked to cover part of the tuition fees from their own resources. The scholarship is only intended for the duration of the course or programme, and guaranteed only one year at the time, for which the candidate has been selected. Successful candidates will be informed about total size of the scholarship upon announcement of the results.
• Applicant should have successfully completed secondary schooling and is not above 24 years old by the time of applying for the scholarship.
• Applicants should have an Equivalent Certificate issued by the Ministry of (Higher) Education of the current country of residency (for more information about the Equivalent Certificate please check the FAQ page).
• The applicant should be Syrian or Syrian Palestinian and a holder of a valid ID Card or valid Passport or a temporary governmental protection ID/ Residency Permit or completed registration with UNHCR as a documented refugee.
• Applicant should apply for SPARK scholarships available only in their current country of residence.
• Applicant does not have sufficient financial means to pursue higher education.
• Applicant has not been approved for any type of resettlement, either the UNHCR or any other resettlement organization.
Eligibility criteria could vary from one educational programme to the other, you can find all scholarship announcements on this page.
• Motivation. The applicant has to demonstrate a solid link between his/her educational background and the selected course and be motivated to actively engage within the community. The applicant should also describe his or her financial motivation (check: ‘dependents’ in application form)
• Dependents/financial situation
• Special needs
• Academic profile: grades
Other factors that might apply:
• Gender (50% females and 50% males will be selected)
• Language proficiency in speaking and writing the language of instruction
• Additional selection criteria may apply (varies per country).
• 10% Orphans
The deadline for application for the SPARK Scholarship in Lebanon and Iraq (KRG) is June 12, 23:59 h.
The deadline for applications for the SPARK Scholarship in Turkey is Friday June 16, 2017 23:59 h.
The deadline for applications for the SPARK Scholarship in Jordan is September 5, 23:59h.
Frequently Asked Questions
– How can I apply for SPARK Scholarship?
Go to Application Center click on apply now to access the application page, you will be required to sign up if you don’t have an account or click on manage current application to sign in if you already have an account.
– Can I save application progress and continue later?
Yes, after you create your account, you will receive an email with application link, your username and password. You can always access your account through that link or you can sign in directly if you have an account through this link. Click here
– What does the Scholarship cover?
SPARK Scholarship student tuition fees / enrolment, other allowances such as local transportation, Study materials, monthly stipend, might be supported depending on the educational programme you are applying for.
– Am I eligible to apply?
Please find the eligibility criteria in About the Scholarship page in Application Center
– I am Palestinian Syrian, am I eligible for a Spark Scholarship?
Yes, if you are a holder of Syrian passport or UN blue card.
– Does the scholarship cover the whole duration of study if I’m approved for Bachelor’s degree?
Bachelor’s degree scholarship covers the tuition fees of the academic year 2016/2017 only, and maybe renewed on yearly basis, subject to availability of funds, and upon the receipt of end-year results from the Higher Education Institution in which you were admitted. Your score should not be under the acceptable pass rate (60%).
I do not have a language certificate. Can I still apply for a scholarship?
Yes you can. SPARK cannot guarantee that you will be considered for a scholarship.
– Under what circumstances my Scholarship might be terminated?
• The scholarship is terminated after the expiration of the contractual obligation period stipulated in the contract, This is generally 1 year;
• Scoring under the acceptable rate (60%) in the end year exam may cause the scholarship to be terminated
• Student violation of University / Higher Education Institution’s code of conduct can cause termination at any moment duration the studies
• Dishonesty or misbehaviour towards SPARK staff or University professors or lectures can cause termination at any moment duration the studies.
• Repeated absence from classes without valid justification can cause termination at any moment duration the studies
• Receiving scholarship funds from another agency, person or organization. Duplication of scholarships is strictly prohibited
• Student approval in UNHCR resettlement programme or any other resettlement programme by any other organization leading to an inability to complete the study programme leads to automatic termination
– Can I apply for SPARK scholarship offered in Turkey if I live in Lebanon?
Unfortunately you can only apply for the scholarship offered in your country of residence. I.e. If you are based in Lebanon, you can apply for one of SPARK Scholarships offered in Lebanon only.
– What is the equivalence certificate? and how can I obtain it?
Equivalence certificate is generally obtained from the Ministry of Education or Ministry of Higher Education. It is a state authentication of your high school degree that you have obtained from Syria and an endorsement of your degree according to your host country’s educational grading system. We advise you to contact the Ministry of Education or Ministry of Higher Education to know more about the procedures.
– Could the scholarship cover graduate studies (masters, PhD)?
Unfortunately not, SPARK scholarships covers a variety of short-term courses, vocational education programs and Bachelor’s Programs.
– Is English a prerequisite for the scholarship?
This depends on the language of study per program, at SPARK, we are giving priority to support Scholarship programs in Arabic and Kurdish. And English only when required.
– Will SPARK help us find a job?
SPARK is a not-for-profit international organization that develops higher education and entrepreneurship to empower young and ambitious people. The HES programme provides only higher education to Syrian refugees and unfortunately cannot provide jobs after the education period. Nevertheless, the programme provides constant mentorship to scholars which would help you to shape your career.
– What if I did not find answers to my questions here?
Please contact your SPARK country office on one of the following email addresses:
-I am having difficulties with submitting my application
Please contact email@example.com if you have any technical difficulties with your application.