Free Syrian University

The seal of the Free Syrian University

Free Syrian University was established in 2013, the institution aims to address the increasing amount of college aged refugees whom lack education as a result of the ongoing Syrian Uprising of 2011. The university is of secular orientation and not affiliated with any particular faith, although it does consist of a College of Sharia, providing undergraduate degrees in Sunni Islamic Law. The university does strongly support the Syrian Revolution, "with both its [the university] name and its mandate from the Free Syrian Legal Authority, a type of clearinghouse organization that proves the organization functions with the blessing of the Free Syrian Army— [which] is directly connected to the armed resistance against the Assad regime."[1]

The University’s mission statement is “to prepare educated generations who seek to build a country of law and justice and institutions.”[1]


The University's founder, Musab Al-Jamal, was a former law professor from Damascus University, Syria. He joined other faculty whom were driven out from the war torn country to lecture students in liberated regions in the nation, and neighboring countries as well.[2] In 2012, Al-Jamal, including several former classmates who attended Damascus University in the 1970s, fled for Turkey when the initially peaceful uprising descended into violence. It was then Al-Jamal and his former classmates thought of establishing the Free Syrian University.[1]


A mix of both on-campus and online teaching, the campus is located in an apartment building in Reyhanli, a Turkish town near the Syrian border. Also, since the refugee population, of both students and faculty includes many still stuck in Syria, the university offers lessons via Skype, Facebook and email. This is part of what the founder terms an "open-learning" approach.[1]

Organization and Administration


The University has found support from professors among the Syrian diaspora living in Europe, who have offered to teach classes both in Turkey and from abroad through the Internet. In total there are 32 professors in Reyhanli, and more than 60 throughout the world, all Syrian nationals.[1]

The University's curriculum is “a combination of the old regime curriculum and new information from Sweden and Germany in particular." They also include English courses each semester.[1]


The university is mainly funded by its founder, and a host of academic volunteers donating their time and expertise to the cause. The founder gives them a one-time payment of $1,500 when they sign up. A modest fee structure is in place with students inside Syria charged $280 per semester, and those outside $560. More than 90 percent of students are unable to pay anything and attend classes for free.[2]


The University is organized into ten separate academic units - ten colleges - with the only campus in Reyhanli. The following colleges are:[3]


The Free Syrian University has formally enrolled 870 students in Turkey and has hundreds more on digital mailing lists inside Syria and other neighboring countries, mostly in Jordan.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "The Scholar-Rebels of the Free Syrian University". The Atlantic. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Rebel academics set up university to save Syria's 'lost generation'". CNN. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  3. Free Syrian University Retrieved 8 October 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links

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