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Friday 10th December at 12:30pm GMT (English) hosted by Dr Shehab Almehlem

Gender balance of higher education in northern Syria challenges & solutions. (English)

Gender Balance of Higher Education in Northern Syria: Challenges & Solutions. 

Gender balance in higher education institutions (HEIs) in the context of the non-regime North of Syria post-2011 has received little attention. This study looked at the issue through two HEIs operating in Northern Syria, focusing on the political, security, economic and social factors that might affect enrolment, particularly amongst females, and the challenges that constrain gender balance in HE. A mixed-method approach was adopted, combining focus group discussions with individual interviews. The study highlighted that female enrolment had dropped to well below pre-2011 levels, and that the key factors constraining university-enrolment by females were security concerns and poverty, allied to which the cost of transport, university fees and the need to contribute to family income. Recommendations include the introduction of more subjects traditionally favoured by female students, an increase in recruitment of female teachers, the creation of all-female spaces including all-female accommodation, and reduced fees and/or the provision of scholarships for female students to help increase female enrolment number.