Turkey, EU fund projects to support Syrian students
The joint statement by Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) and the UNHCR said that they are working together with the European Union “to increase access to quality higher education opportunities for Syrian youth in Turkey”.
“The establishment of university preparation programs will enable Syrian students to acquire the Turkish language skills needed to study in Turkish universities,” it said.
Speaking of two projects, which aim to increase the number of Syrian students studying at Turkish universities, the statement said they were funded by the EU and the Republic of Turkey.
The titles of the projects are “Supporting the national institutions in Turkey to mitigate the impact of Syrian refugee crisis”, and “Increasing access to higher education for Syrian refugees in Turkey”.
“Thanks to these two projects, in the academic year of 2017-2018, over 4,200 Syrian high school graduates will have the opportunity to complete an intensive nine-month Turkish language programme that will enable students to reach the levels of Turkish proficiency required for enrolment in Turkish universities,” the statement added.
Stressing the importance of the projects, UNHCR Representative in Turkey, Katharina Lumpp said: “The combined efforts will contribute to ensuring that Syrian youth are able to realize their dreams of going to university and will later be able to make a positive contribution to the communities in which they live as skilled professionals.”
Mehmet Kose, the president of YTB, also said that these collaborations were of great importance, and added that “such long-term projects targeting the Syrian youth, will also contribute to world peace”.
“It is possible that the civil war in Syria has caused damage to the country’s infrastructure that will take longtime to repair. However, a more important point is to ensure that the displaced Syrian youth are enabled to make the most of their time in the host country, while also thinking about the future of their country,” Kose said.
He also stated that Syrian youth would become the “founding generations” of their country, instead of being the “lost generations” because of the war.
Christian Berger, the head of the EU delegation to Turkey, said: "Education is a key in our support to refugees in Turkey. Turkey's decision on the waiving of the academic tuition fees for Syrian refugees has allowed us to implement such projects together with our partner UNHCR and Turkish institutions such as YTB.”
Turkey, as the largest refugee hosting country in the world, hosts more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees.