A new initiative has been launched to better understand the future learning needs of Syrian refugee youth in Jordan aged between 16-30 years old.
The EU-UNESCO Jami3ti initiative (‘my university’ in Arabic) aims to address the information gap that currently exists about the future learning needs of Syrian refugees in Jordan. The specialized Jami3ti website (www.unesco.org/jami3ti).), developed by UNESCO Office in Amman with funding from the European Union, allows Syrian refugee youth to create individualized education profiles about their future learning needs and providers of opportunities a central place to advertise their potential opportunities, such as scholarships and preparatory courses. By providing a platform for youth to voluntarily create education profiles about their educational history and to provide information on their future learning needs, a more in depth and detailed picture of the demands can be generated. Institutions can then use this information to better their plan for post-secondary and higher education opportunities, which are individualized, demand-driven, better targeted and more efficient. To date, over 2,000 Syrian refugee youth in Jordan have started education profiles on the Jami3ti site.
Under the patronage of H.E. Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Jordan, UNESCO hosted an event on 25 June 2015 in Amman, Jordan to present the findings of the initial phase of the EU-UNESCO Jami3ti initiative. The event brought together over 60 representatives from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, UNESCO, the European Union Delegation, institutions of Higher Education in Jordan, international and local organizations, and foreign embassies.
In her speech, UNESCO Representative to Jordan Ms. Costanza Farina noted that, “For most of the last four years, Higher Education has not been seen as a priority for international support in the context of the Syria crisis. However, granting continuous higher education opportunities for Youth affected by the conflict is critical, if we want to build a robust human capital base that can effectively and positively contribute to the future reconstruction efforts in Syria and ultimately to peace and security in the region.”
To carry out the web initiative, UNESCO developed an SMS-based survey which was delivered to Syrian youth in the country. This free-of-charge mobile survey allowed individuals to express their interest in higher education opportunities and to receive credentials for the Jami3ti website. Additional support was provided through the provision of a dedicated computer lab in Za’atari camp. A call center in Jordan was also commissioned to support those that were interested in participating throughout the country. UNESCO is also working with education service providers to create institutional profiles on the Jami3ti website so that potential opportunities for Syrian refugees are listed and accessible.
''This is a very first step in a journey that will bring young Syrians, many of them having an interrupted study, back to forms of higher learning. The launch of this portal is an important milestone in responding to the challenges facing the Syrian people's future'', Ambassador of the European Union, Joanna Wronecka stated in her speech.
In his closing remarks, the Jordanian Ministry of Higher Education Secretary-General, Professor Dr. Hani H. Al-Dmour thanked the European Union and UNESCO for its support with this initiative. He stated “The Jordanian universities are ready to receive Syrian students in coordination and cooperation with the funding bodies; and to provide all facilities to them. I call on the international community and international donors and service providers alike, to take advantage of the Jami3ti website and work with the Jordanian government and private and public Jordanian universities to better plan for providing Educational opportunities for the young Syrians.”