As a result of the conflict Syria is at risk of losing a whole generation of university graduates, future experts and leaders. For this reason the Federal Foreign Office is launching a package of measures for Syrian students which will run for several years. This will significantly increase the number of scholarships available to young Syrians in Germany and in the region (in countries including Egypt, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon).
Speaking in Berlin on 22 September, Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier explained:
We must not allow a lost generation to emerge as a result of the conflict in Syria. Young Syrians in particular will play a crucial role in rebuilding their country and shaping its future once this terrible conflict has been resolved. We want to do what we can to give this young generation a perspective for the future. That is why we are launching a new scholarship package for Syrian students.
With the new scholarship package the Federal Foreign Office is massively expanding its support for Syria in the academic sphere. Over the coming years it will make available up to three million euros annually, starting in 2015. Through this initiative the Federal Foreign Office is also helping to support the neighbouring countries which have taken in Syrian refugees.
The new Leadership for Syria programme, which is run by the German Academic Exchange Service and has a total volume of 7.8 million euros, is to give up to 100 students the opportunity to complete their degrees in Germany while taking part in a socio‑political programme. In addition, the number of regular German Academic Exchange Service scholarships is to be doubled and the Service’s programmes opened up to Bachelor students.
After more than three years of armed conflict in Syria, one in two Syrians have now fled the country. The number of refugees totals more than nine million. Over three million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries.