Tue 23 Oct 2018

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“Students Without Borders” Paves Syrian Students’ Way to Turkish Universities

University students in Turkey (Spark)

University students in Turkey (Spark)

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A group of Syrian students in Turkey have established a services group to offer all the needed details about the registration process in the universities in Turkey and abroad, in addition to other services that focus on the refugee Syrian students’ interests.

The idea started to take shape when the Syrian student, “Istabraq al-Ukleh,” began to publish videos through her personal “Facebook” page, in which she presented details about the application to Turkish universities and provided her followers with the latest scholarships offered to Syrians from the various universities around the world.

This step paved the way for Istabraq to launch an official group, last February, when the number of her page’s followers increased. So, she suggested the establishment of a special page in the form of a students’ services group. She was surprised, as she told Enab Baladi, by the encouragement that ensued the launching process.

Under the title “Students without Borders” the initiative began from the city of Istanbul with a staff of no more than 15 students, who utilized the expertise and details which they gathered during applying for Turkish universities by transferring them to other students through the videos they published on their “Facebook” pages.

Istabraq told Enab Baladi that the group seeks to offer all the needed information concerning university registration process and to answer all the Syrian students’ inquiries, especially in the shadow of the circumstances they are encountering in the host countries during studying in Turkish universities, in addition to referring the students to the original source of information if the team members were unable to answer accurately.

The Turkish Ministry of Higher Education estimates the number of Syrian students in Turkish universities with about 14 thousand and 747 students, 20% of whom continue their university education through the scholarships offered by the Turkish governmental universities. The rest, however, pay for their education.

The idea behind “Students without Borders” developed from offering information about universities to seeking to acquire chairs for Syrian students in the private international universities with a monetary discount, according to Istabraq, a member of the students group.

She explained that lately they have managed to obtain three chairs at the “American Northwest University” in the Department of Human Medicine. Currently, they are conducting talks with “Üsküdar University” in Istanbul to obtain similar scholarships for Syrian students.

“Students without Borders” has about three thousand followers, while similar groups are becoming popular in Germany, USA, Bosnia, Malaysia. Each of them offers information about university registration in the targeted country.

Istabraq told Enab Baladi that the project does not provide the people working under it with any financial income, especially that its funding depends on the students’ themselves. “Our goal is to offer a humanitarian service that paves the way in front of the Syrian students to continue their university education under the difficulties hindering them,” she said.

About funding, Istabraq said that the group does not mind having a sponsor for their project, as to offer them with a permanent center, providing that it would not be in exchange for money.

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