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THE NATIONAL PROJECT OR THE NATIONAL PROGRAMME: AN EVALUATION OF TEMPUS PROGRAMME CONTRIBUTION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR IN SYRIA

R. Ayoubi, A. Al-Ahmar, S. Ahmar-Dakna

Ministry of Higher Education (SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC)
This study presents a preliminary analysis of Tempus contribution to the development and upgrading of the higher education sector in Syria. By comparing the priorities of Syrian higher education sector and the objectives of thirty three Tempus projects implemented in Syria, the study shows different levels of contribution of each project to the national priorities. An innovative concept of the National Project based on two dimensions was suggested. The two dimensions are the number of national priorities that the project meets, and the number of Syrian higher education institutions involved in each project. It is found that more than 50% of these projects meet the national priorities, and an individual project is relatively serving a few number of universities. In accordance with the concept of the national project that was proposed in this study, the results insist on the need for more national-oriented projects in the future. To guarantee the sustainability of the Programme, the study suggests that Tempus Programme should stress on developing more national-oriented projects based on the concept of the national project suggested in this study. However, from macro point of view, the results indicate that Tempus Programme could be considered as a national Programme. Empirically, this study provides decision makers of the higher education sector in Syria with relevant information regarding the intended future directions of the projects, and their contribution to the higher education development process.