Due to the conflict in Syria, more than seven million Syrians have been displaced internally and around five million have fled the country, finding refuge in neighbouring countries. As a result of the enduring crisis, the higher education systems in the host countries have been heavily affected and a situation has arisen where only a small fraction of the vulnerable young refugees are currently enrolled in a university programme.

HOPES (Higher and Further Education Opportunities and Perspectives for Syrians) is a €12 million project, funded by the European Union’s Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis, ‘the Madad Fund’ and implemented by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) together with the British Council, Campus France and Nuffic.

The project seeks to provide better access to quality further and higher education opportunities for refugees of post-secondary-age from Syria as well as young people in the host communities affected by the high influx of refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

The life span of the project is from April 2016 until August 2020, during which refugees from Syria and young people in the host communities will benefit from a wide range of educational offers, academic counselling, language courses, and full academic scholarships and higher education short courses. Further and higher education institutions and organizations in host communities will also receive financial support to provide innovative educational offers and thereby improve their own capacity. Syrian learners will profit from recognised learning achievements, completed degrees and advanced academic and language training. This will enable them to continue their studies and careers when they return to Syria.


The HOPES project is funded by the European Union’s Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the ‘Madad Fund’. Launched in December 2014, the overall objective of the Trust Fund is to provide a coherent and reinforced aid response to the Syrian crisis on a regional scale, responding primarily in the first instance to the needs of refugees from Syria in neighbouring countries, as well as of the communities hosting the refugees and their administrations, in particular as regards to resilience and early recovery.


Student Counselling

Education Officers at the Syria Education Desks are located in the five target countries and offer academic counselling and information about access to tertiary education opportunities in host countries to refugees of post-secondary age from Syria and interested vulnerable youth seeking advice.

HOPES Scholarship fund

HOPES provides several hundred full academic scholarships through the HOPES Scholarship Fund to candidates at the Bachelor and Masters levels, with a particular focus on students who had to interrupt their studies in Syria due to the conflict. The objective is to enable refugees of post-secondary age from Syria as well as vulnerable youth to continue their higher and further studies in local institutions.

Higher Education English Access Programme HEEAP

Students from Syria and from host communities can benefit from university-based English and study skills courses to improve their English, increasing their ability to apply for scholarships and access other educational opportunities in their host countries.

Call for Proposals

HOPES provides funding for innovative short-term education projects targeting refugees from Syria and vulnerable host communities across Egypt, Northern Iraq (KRI), Jordan, Lebanon,Turkey and/or Syria and implemented by local and regional institutions.

National Stakeholder Dialogues

Regular National Stakeholder gatherings are organised in each of the five project countries providing a platform to discuss various issues to facilitate the development of joint strategies and the coordination of interventions in the higher and further education sector related to the Syrian crisis on a national level.

Regional Policy Conferences

Through two policy conferences organized on a regional level, HOPES will be providing a forum to address the impact of the Syria Crisis on Higher Education in the region from different perspectives. The purpose is to expand the intra-regional and EU-regional policy dialogue related to Higher Education initiatives for Syrians in the region while providing a forum for exchanging experience and best practices





“This website has been developed with the assistance of the European Union’s Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis, the ‘Madad Fund’. The contents of the website are the sole responsibility of the HOPES project and implementing partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.”


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