ICT and Higher Education in Syria

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					ICT Strategy in Higher Education
            in Syria
           Prof. Najib Abdul-Wahed
            Deputy Minister of Higher Education

               Dr. Nawar Al-Awa
                    Dean of IT Faculty


May 2006                                          1
                        Plan
•   Higher Education in Syria
•   ICT: A Tool for Higher Education
•   Human resource development in ICT Sector
•   ICT in Higher Education Strategy
•   Conclusions and Perspectives



3rd May 2006    ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut   2
          Higher Education in Syria

                      Higher Education Council


               Intermediate       Higher
                                                       Universities
                 Institutes      Institutes




                                                  Private         Public


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                          Higher Education in Syria …


                                                          Univ.

                                                 Outside Faculty

                                                                              Open
University         City       Created          Staff               Students
                                                                              Learning
Damascus           Damascus   1923             2123                110000     37012

Aleppo             Aleppo     1958             1150                65000      26552

Teshreen           Lattakia   1971             892                 40000      12145

Al-Baath           Homs       1979             525                 30000      11405

Total                                          4690                245000     87114
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               Higher Education in Syria …



                Intermediate Institutes Number                   Students


                 Higher Education                34               34138

                  Other Ministries              122               20913




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  Enrolment Rate in Some Countries
     Algeria
     Egypte
                90
     Finland
                80                                                  USA
     India
                                                                    Finland
     Iran       70
                                                                    Korea
     Jordan
     Korea      60
     Kuwait
     Lebanon
                50
     Malaysia
                40
     Morroco
     Oman       30
     Pakistan                                                       Lebanon
     KSA        20                                                  EgyptُSyria
                                                                         ُ
                                                                               Syria
     Sudan         Jordan                                           UAE
     Syria
                10
                 Kuwait                                             India
     Tunisia
                   Tunisia                                          Pakistan
                 0
     UAE
                     1980     1985       1990      1995      1998       2003      2006
     USA


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                 Higher Education in Syria…

                  Private Universities




                                                            8 opened Universities
                                                 2 allowed but not yet opened
                              18 universities with preliminary permission

                                                      15 universities pending
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                                 University                   City    Students
Higher Education in Syria
   Private Universities   Kalamoon                       Deir-atieh   1766
                          IUST                           Daraa        365
                          AEU                            Daraa        701
                          Al-Mamoun          Hasaka                   2098
                          Private University Aleppo                   417
                          for Science and
                          Arts
                          Union (itihad)     Aleppo                   956
                          Syrian                         Daraa        363
                          International
                          Al-Wadi                        Homs         148
                          Total                                       6814

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      Low Quality of Education َ
         (students and Prof)                     Migration of “Brains”



                                                                  Incompatibility
Huge Number of
Students needing          Challenges                                   with
Higher Education                                                   Market Needs



                                                                     Selection
Traditional Style         Poor Expenditure                         according to
  In Teaching               on Education                          student score
                                                                  Not preference

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                        Plan
•   Higher Education in Syria
•   ICT: A tool for Higher Education
•   Human resource development in ICT Sector
•   ICT in Higher Education Strategy
•   Conclusions and Perspectives



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   ICT: A Tool for Higher Education




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                    ICT as a tool...
• Influence on WHAT is learned
    – Access to variety of information sources, types,
      and forms
    – Learning becomes problem-centered, and inquiry-
      based
• Influence on HOW is learned
    – Student-centered learning
    – New learning theory: Constructive Principles
          • Construction of meaning instead of memorization of
            facts.


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                     ICT as a tool…
• Influence on WHEN and WHERE is learned
     – Anywhere:
           • On-line material
           • Distance learning
           • Students may enroll in any world-wide program
     – Anytime:
           • No temporal constraints
• Other benefits
     – Expand the pool of teachers and students
     – Reduce the cost of education

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                    ICT as a tool…
                 Enabling Infrastructure
• SHERN (Syrian H.E. & Research Network)
  – Collaboration with UNDP and UNESCO
  – Objective:
       • build an advanced network connecting universities.
         Research centers, and Institutes
       • Promote distant learning and collaborative research
       • Provide students with “easy” access to information
         resources
  – Operational since 2002
  3rd May 2006          ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut   14
                                       SHERN…
                                                                                   Chemical and Petroleum Faculty
  Marine Research Center                          Servers

                                      Aleppo University
                                           Intranet
                                                                        Servers

                                                                                  Al-Baath
                                                                              University Intranet
   Teshreen University
         Intranet          Servers                                Management Workstation
                               Leased lines provided by STE                                       To STE
                               (64 kbps-2 Mbps)                                                   Internet Access
                     Servers                                                                      Equipment
                                                                     Main Router       Servers
                                                   Servers             (NOC)
                                                                                                        Servers
     HIAST                           MHE                         Firewall
    Intranet                         LAN
                                                                                     Damascus
                                                              Med&Hum             University Intranet
                                                                LAN
                                                 FMEE
                                                  LAN




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                   SHERN… Evolution
       3500
       3000                                                     Ministry
       2500
       2000                                                     Damascus
                                                                University
       1500
                                                                Aleppo
       1000                                                     University
         500                                                    Teshreen
                                                                University
               0
                    Current         Expected                    Al-baath
                   number of       Number for                   University
                     Points           2007
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                                        0

                                        2
                SHERN… Evolution
                      D
                                        a
        8                               m
        7                               a                       Ministry
        6                               s
        5                               c                       Damascus
                                        u                       University
        4
                                        s                       Aleppo
        3                                                       University
        2                            U                          Teshreen
        1                                                       University
                                       n
                                                                Al-baath
        0                              i
                Current           Expected                      University
                                       v
               Bandwidth    bandwidth 2007
                                       e
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                                       r
                      SHERN…
                   EUMEDCONNECT
Connection of 12 Mediterranean countries with 25 European countries




    3rd May 2006        ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut   18
                  SHERN …
                Available services
     –   Internet Browsing
     –   E-Mail
     –   E-Libraries
     –   E-Learning
     –   Video Conference
     –   Multimedia Broadcasting
     –   Administrative Information Exchange
     –   Research Data Center
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 From SHERN to EUMEDEGRID

• Objectives
  – Stimulate the formation of National Grid
    Infrastructures (NGI) in the Mediterranean
    Countries.
  – Promote Grid awareness in the region
  – Establish a dialogue regarding policy developments
    for research and education networking and provide
    input to the agenda of national funding bodies
    and if possible governments.
  – Capture local eScience user requirements in terms of
    resources needed, Grid services, and application
    software.
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    From SHERN to EUMEDEGRID…

•    Objectives…
     – Provide guidelines to regional integration in the Euro-
       Mediterranean infrastructures.
     – exploit the infrastructure provided by the Gigabit Pan-European
       Research & Education Network (GEANT) and the Mediterranean
       Research and Education Networking (EUMEDCONNECT) initiative
       in the region.
     – support the deployment of applications (High Energy Physics,
       BioMed,…)
• Partners
•   INFN (Italy ) - CERN (Switzerland ) – CYNET (Cyprus )
•   DANTE (UK) - Consortium GARR (Italy) - GRNET (Greece)
•   RED.ES . (Spain) - University of Malta (Malta) - CERIST (Algeria)
•   CNRST (Morocco) – HIAST (Syria)
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                    ICT as a tool…
               Syrian Virtual University
     – Integrated virtual environment
     – Similar to conventional universities
     – All student activities and tasks can be performed
     – Automated electronic administration
     – Developed interactive content
     – Virtual Classrooms



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                         SVU…
                    learning process
• In a conventional classroom:
                                                                  Proctored exams
                 Students                              Assessment Take home exams
                                                                  Projects
                                                                  Class Participation
                                                                  Assignments

  Face-to-face
   Interaction

                             Interaction
                                                       Static


                 Teacher                                  Content

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                               SVU…
                          learning process
   • In a virtual classroom:
                                                                     Proctored exams
      Learner       Students                              Assessment Take home exams
                                                                     Projects
                                                                     Class Participation
                                                                     Assignments
                                                  Rich, Dynamic
                                                    Interactive

                               Interaction
                                                                   Static content
 Facilitates and                                                         +
   supervises    Teacher                                   Content Teacher’s
                                                                    explanation
student learning                                                       skills
     3rd May 2006                ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut               24
                                    SVU…
                                   diplomas
•   High National Diploma (Associate degree) •          Information Systems Engineering
         • Internet Studies.
                                                               • 160 credit based
         • Web Development and
           Programming                                           engineering degree
         • Management                                          • 10 different specializations
         • Marketing
                                                               • 4 years (3 semesters/year)
         • General Business
                                             •          Diploma in Educational Habilitation
• Business Information Technology                              • Teaching habilitation
  (Bachelor)                                                   • One year program with 11
          •   IT                                                 courses.
          •   Management.                                      • Practical (In-class teaching
                                                                 course)
          •   Marketing.
                                                               • 10 courses in education and
          •   General Business                                   psychology
          •   English



      3rd May 2006               ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut                     25
                SVU…
               Enrolment
Program                       Students
Education                     1700

HND                           475
Preparatory                   75
BIT                           330
Engineering                   165

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           ICT: A tool…
  Computerization of Administration
• Project phases (2 years)
     – Information gathering
     – Simplification of procedures upon the new
       proposed Ministry structure
     – Implementation of the new Information System
     – Data input
     – Staff training


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                        Plan
•   Higher Education in Syria
•   ICT: A tool for Higher Education
•   Human resource development in ICT Sector
•   ICT in Higher Education Strategy
•   Conclusions and Perspectives



3rd May 2006    ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut   28
               HRD in ICT Sector

                               SVU
                                   Faculty of
               Faculty of
                                    Electrical
                  IT
                                      Eng.
                          Computer
                           Institute
                  HIAST
                                      Private
                                       Univ


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                 HRD in ICT Sector…
               Faculty of IT Engineering
• Established in 2000
• 5-year program
• 3 majors:
     – Computer Systems and Networks
     – Software Engineering and Information Systems
     – Artificial Intelligence
• UNDP assessment 2003: Satisfactory
• Hardworking students: more than 95% in
  Baccalaureate degree.

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                 HRD in ICT sector…
               Enrolment in Faculty of IT
 1400

 1200

 1000

  800                                                            Damascus
                                                                 Aleppo
  600                                                            Teshreen
                                                                 Al-baath
  400

  200

     0
           2001    2002        2003         2004         2005

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        HRD in ICT Sector…
    Computer Intermediate Institutes
• 2-year program
• 3 disciplines:
     – IT
     – E-Business
     – Computer engineering




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       HRD in ICT Sector…
  Enrolment in Computer Institutes
2500

2000                                                       Damascus
                                                           Aleppo
1500                                                       Teshreen
                                                           Al-baath
1000                                                       Daraa
                                                           Idleb
 500                                                       Raqaa
                                                           TOTAL
    0
         2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

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           HRD in ICT sector…
  Higher Institute for Applied Sciences and
                 Technology
 established in 1983 in Damascus
 Academic programs
   –   Software engineering
   –   Communication engineering
   –   Electronic Systems Engineering
   –   Mechanical Engineering
 Students:
   – 213 students,
 Research & development projects for local market
  especially in IT

  3rd May 2006          ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut   34
             HRD in ICT Sector…
          Higher Studies and Research
• Few Master and Phd Studies
     – In Faculties of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering


                               2000                          2005
   Academic Staff              4833                          5311
Students in Higher             8195                          8765
     studies



3rd May 2006          ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut          35
                        Plan
•   Higher Education in Syria
•   ICT: A tool for Higher Education
•   Human resource development in ICT Sector
•   ICT in Higher Education Strategy
•   Conclusions and Perspectives



3rd May 2006    ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut   36
               ‫شريحة الملخص‬
• ICT in Higher Education Strategy




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      ICT in Higher Education Strategy
      Reference: 10th national plan for Higher Education
      Objectives
ICT        1. Develop high-quality study plan, curricula , and
              academic activities
ICT        2. Enhance Institutional and Individual capacities
ICT        3. Provide the enabling structure for courses and research
ICT        4. Promote Scientific research environment
ICT        5. Encourage cooperation between local universities and
              international organizations
ICT        6. Modernize Intermediate Institutes

      3rd May 2006          ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut   38
ICT in Higher Education Strategy
Policies
      1. Develop new learning styles (i.e. Virtual learning)
      2. Annually, increase the number of IT students by 9%,
         and Engineering students by 25%
      3. Modernize IT courses in universities
      4. Re-structure IT specializations in universities
      5. Periodic review of courses and curricula
      6. Achieve the professor/student rate 1:20 in Eng.
         faculties


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ICT in Higher Education Strategy
Policies
      7. Develop IT equipment and connect labs with universal
          databases
      8. Use of ICT techniques in learning , administrative
          support.
      9. Develop web sites to provide students with the
          necessary information
      10. Re-habilitation of researchers in ICT
      11. Develop new research programs according to emerging
          technologies
      12. Participation in International activities
      13. Open new disciplines for intermediate institutes

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ICT in Higher Education Strategy
• First-priority programs
     –   Re-structure HE
     –   Enhance teaching and research capacity
     –   National capacity building
     –   Support the scientific research
     –   Encourage SVU programs
     –   Development of S&T policy


3rd May 2006         ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut   41
                        Plan
•   Higher Education in Syria
•   ICT: A tool for Higher Education
•   Human resource development in ICT Sector
•   ICT in Higher Education Strategy
•   Conclusions and Perspectives



3rd May 2006    ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut   42
         Conclusions & Perspectives
• Current difficulties:
     –   Huge number of students
     –   Low Enrolment rate (relatively)
     –   Insufficient infrastructure
     –   Information, textbooks,…unavailable
     –   Traditional teaching styles
     –   Incompatibility with market needs



3rd May 2006         ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut   43
    Conclusions & Perspectives…
• ICT strategy:
     – Capacity building in Universities                   •   Granted Assistant Program


     – Capacity building for Public Sector                 • Program of Scientific scholarship

                                                • Faculties if IT Engineering
     –   National capacity building             • Indian-Syrian University (Aleppo)
                                                • Private universities
                                                • capacity
                                 • Extending SHERNIT Education in all faculties
     –                                          • ICDL for all
         Enabling Infrastructure • EUMEDCONNECT (GEANT) students (2006/2007)
                                 • EUMEDGRID • SICTI: Syrian ICT Incubator

     – New Styles in learning          •   SVU support
                                       •   MEDNET’U (online courses)
                                       •   Avicenna Project: online interactive modules
     – Administrative reform           •   Re-structuring HE & Computerization of Universities

                                       • Update curricula in ICT academic establishments
     – Curricula reform                • meet the market needs

3rd May 2006               ICT Policy in ESCWA countries-Beirut                      44
                 Thank you !

 Prof. Najib Abdul-Wahed: n-wahed@scs-net.org
 Dr. Nawar Al-Awa: alawan@scs-net.org




May 2006                                        45

				
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