The fate of thousands of students remains unknown amid the continued suspension of exams, for the second consecutive month, at the Euphrates University colleges and institutes in Hassakeh governorate. This development follows SDF’s seizure of educational institutions surrounding Sinaa’ prison.
The presidency of Euphrates University proposed moving campuses controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from the Hassakeh governorate to Deir-ez-Zor if they were not handed over to the university administration.
“Within days, the governor of Hassakeh, the regime’s security committee, the presidency of Euphrates University in Deir-ez-Zor, and the Hassakeh campus will hold a meeting to decide on the colleges controlled by SDF in the city,” an informed source told Syria TV, on condition of anonymity.
“A proposal has been tabled to move colleges and institutes that SDF refuses to hand over to the Deir-ez-Zor city administration. The proposal has been put by the president of Euphrates University in Deir-ez-Zor, the management of the Hassakeh campus, and the student union,” the source said.
“The transfer of the faculties of economics and civil engineering to Deir-ez-Zor means that more than 5,000 students cannot complete their education because most students are unable to study in Deir ez-Zor,” Shiar al-Ali (alias), a student at the Faculty of Economics, told Syria TV.
“Most young students must complete military service with the regime’s military forces. There are also serious security concerns about moving between Hassakeh and Deir-ez-Zor and living in regime-controlled areas, especially due to the presence of Iranian militias in Deir-ez-Zor. In addition, there are large financial expenses of studying in Deir-ez-Zor, which will result in students being prevented from completing their studies,” Ali said.
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Indeed, many students have migrated from Syria over the past two months to the Kurdistan region or Europe via Turkey after losing hope of improving the region’s security and educational conditions amid repeated tensions in Hassakeh, Ali said.
The attack by ISIS cells on the Hassakeh prison caused considerable damage to the colleges of civil engineering and economics and the total destruction at the Institute of Technical Observers located next to the prison in the city’s Ghweran neighborhood.
After the end of the military operations, the SDF bulldozed the destroyed buildings and took control of other buildings, refusing to hand them over to the Euphrates University president in Hassakeh for reasons it characterized as “security” issues.
In early February, the regime’s Ministry of Higher Education announced the suspension of quarterly examinations in the colleges and institutes (Euphrates University) in the Hassakeh governorate. The ministry said that “the suspension of the examinations came after SDF targeted the buildings of the faculties of civil engineering, agriculture, economics, and the engineering technical institute.”
The Ministry of Higher Education accused SDF of “looting assets in these buildings and preventing students from the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, as well as administrative and teaching staff, from entering the college building for examinations”.
In an earlier statement, Rohat Khalil, head of the Autonomous Administration’s Education Authority, blamed ISIS for the destruction of educational buildings as a result of its attack on Sinaa’ prison in the Ghweran and al-Zohour neighborhoods, surrounding the prison and university buildings.
Khalil called on the Euphrates University president and the management of the Hassakeh campus to cooperate and take responsibility “to serve our student body in completing their studies and providing them with a safe and sound environment.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.