NGO Education at Syrian Higher Education Institutions: A Tale of Two Universities

  • 03 Feb 2023
  • Published Resarch - Business


Moaz Alsherfawi Aljazaerli and Sulaiman Mouselli

Published in

Journal of Service, Innovation and Sustainable Development, volume 3, number 2, pp. 98-112, 2022.



The Syrian crisis continues to have its toll on the Syrian people. Still, it creates a unique opportunity for NGOs to demonstrate their potential and contribute towards improving the conditions surrounding Syrian people and sustainable development. However, such a call comes quickly and without adequate training or enough preparations for NGO staff, reflecting on the efficiency and quality of NGOs' interventions and activities. This study aims at uncovering the status quo of NGO education in Syrian higher education institutions by surveying students and graduates of two leading Syrian public and private universities. It also tries to find out their preferences for the type of change they request to fill the gap in NGO education. In addition, it reveals the most needed training courses that should be offered to NGO staff as part of their Life Long Learning (LLL). We find that public university graduates/students tend, on average, to have a significantly lower evaluation of the level to which NOG-related topics are being covered in their curricula in comparison to graduates/students at private universities. In addition, students from public universities seem to be more interested in introducing Bachelor's and Master's degrees than adding one module on NGO management to Business Administration curricula. Strategic planning and decision-making are at the top of priorities for almost all respondents, regardless of sex or university affiliation, with the exception of younger students. Younger students have shown more interest in basic managerial skills and human resource development topics. Soft skills are the least requested topic for all categories except for the upper age group. Graduates and professionals seem to attach less importance to communication skills and human resource development topics.

Keywords: NGO education; higher education; sustainable development; LLL; Syria.

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