Syria's Assad issues decree to allow private universities
Syria is poised to get its first private universities under President Bashar Al-Assad's policy to liberalize education, the government daily Tishrin reported Saturday, August 18. The newspaper reported that Assad has issued the decree allowing both Arab and international universities, in order to raise education levels.
The decree foresees "private or mixed establishments and branches of Arab or international universities which will contribute with public universities and institutions to produce quality education," the newspaper said.
The new schools will be aimed at "raising the level of higher education and scientific research and meeting the needs of economic development," it said. There are currently a total of four public universities in the capital Damascus and the country's main cities.
The ruling Baath party green lighted private universities in February under the liberalization policies Assad, a British-trained doctor, has adopted since he assumed the presidency from his late father Hafiz Al-Assad in July 2000.
In January, the president also forwarded to parliament a draft law envisioning the creation of a higher education institution to foster new businesses. The Baath party nationalized all private schools when it took power in 1963 and put them under state supervision. ― (AFP, Damascus)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)