Many students residing in the occupied Syrian Golan lands have enrolled in Syrian universities in the past years. However, their number has greatly decreased since the eruption of the Syrian revolution.
The security situation and the closing of the Quneitra crossing which links Golan to Syria have contributed to the decrease in the number of students attending Syrian universities.
As a result, high school students in Golan resorted to getting acquainted with the Israeli education curricula and the Hebrew language so they will be able to attain the “Bagrut” certificate which is equivalent to the degree conferred after the successful completion of the fifth grade of a secondary school, in hopes of being able to enroll in Israeli universities in case it is not possible to enroll in Syrian ones. Those who have already started their college education in Syria confront the possibility of not being able to pursue it.
According to data published by Israeli daily “Maariv,” more than 90% of students in occupied Golan studied in Syrian universities between 1997 and 2001. The students enrolled based on an agreement with the Syrian regime. Their number reached around 400 per year, and it unprecedentedly decreased in the past year as only 132 students registered in Syrian universities. Out of the 132, only 37 of them ended up enrolling at the beginning of this academic year. However, only 17 students from the occupied Golan are still in Syria.
The daily quoted a social activist from the Golan Heights as saying that: “high school students are aware that they have to attain an Israeli degree to be able to pursue a university education in Israel or even in Europe,” adding that students began taking intensive classes to learn the Hebrew language.
Maariv also quoted head of the local council of Majdel Shames as saying that “ever since the civil war erupted, we started directing students [toward] attaining learning modules in the Hebrew language so they master it.”
Local councils and a number of associations in Golan are also making efforts to find solutions for the students who had suspended their education in Syrian universities. Among these students are dentistry students who may be able to pursue their education in Israeli universities if an agreement is reached with the latter.