Young and promising is the title of a very interesting report published by the Rojava Information Center (RIC) exploring and explaining how, despite war and regional isolation, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria ( AANES) has built a network of universities on its territory in order to compete with the knowledge-producing institutions of the Syrian government. In its place, it offers a higher education system in line with international standards, but fundamentally influenced by its democratic values.
The University System of North and East Syria (NES) aims to provide young people in the region with a better future, both politically and materially, as well as to seek recognition and export the political project of AANES by building bridges with international educational establishments. While the achievements in the seven years since the opening of the first NES university are remarkable, the lack of international recognition of NES universities is a stumbling block to the success of this project.
Over the past 8 months, RIC has explored and immersed itself in the NES University System to publish the first English language guide to higher education under AANES. Our team observed a variety of courses offered at the University of Rojava, while getting to know its administration, staff, students, and visiting professors. The RIC also visited al-Sharq and Kobane campuses and met with its administration to better understand the AANES university system.
The RIC report should serve as the reader’s introduction to the universities of the NES, while highlighting the challenges that this system faces and will face in the future.
The report can be downloaded here