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Japanese Initiative for the future of Syrian Refugees (JISR)

1. Background

Many thousands of Syrians have been forced to leave to surrounding countries since the conflict started in 2011, majority of whom have been staying in host communities. Under their severe and inconvenient living conditions, the international society is required to support those refugees from the humanitarian viewpoints. The protracted crisis deprives the refugees of their opportunity from studying, which is feared to result in huge loss of human resources for the reconstruction of the Syria Arab Republic (hereinafter referred to as "Syria") in the future.

Against this backdrop, Japanese government announced in May 2016 that Japan would accept maximum 150 Syrian young personnel as student over five years aiming to offer educational opportunity for Syrian youth who are to contribute to Syria's future reconstruction. Accordingly Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) establishes the program of "Japanese Initiative for the future of Syrian Refugees (JISR)" (hereinafter referred as "JISR") under the cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for 100 Syrian refugees who are staying in the neighboring countries to study for master's degree at Japanese universities.

2. Objectives

The objective of JISR is to support Syrian refugees who have the potential to contribute to the reconstruction of Syria in the future. This program offers opportunities for young Syrian refugees (hereafter referred to as "participants") to study at master's courses in Japanese universities. This program intends to foster excellent Syrian personnel to lead Syria's peacebuilding and reconstruction at an appropriate time in the future, while enhancing their understanding of Japanese people, society and systems so as to strengthen the mutual friendship between Syria and Japan.

3. Program Outline

  1. Program Title: Japanese Initiative for the future of Syrian Refugees (JISR)
  2. Language of the Program: English or Japanese
  3. Course: Master's Degree Program
  4. Number of Participants/year: Approximately 20
  5. Number of Batch: 5 Batches in total

4. Duration

  1. Overall Program: August 2016 – September 2024
    Participants will be dispatched every year from 2017 to 2021.
  2. Admission Schedule: First batch: September/October 2017
    • Participants will come to Japan at August or later and Japanese language Program will be held before the admission to Japanese universities.
    • 6 months or 1 year as a research student if necessary and 2 years as a master's student. *Maximum three years enrollment.

5. Target Participants

This program targets on the Syrian refugees registered by UNHCR, who are currently staying in Jordan and Lebanon and will play a leading role in Syria's reconstruction and peacebuilding in private, governmental or educational sector in the future.

6. Fields of Study at Japanese Universities

Engineering, Agriculture, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Business Administration, Social Science (Peacebuilding, Political Science, Public Administration etc.) and Japanese Language and Culture are specified as key field of study. However, other fields, which can contribute to attain the purpose of JISR are also acceptable. Proposed research topics must be relevant to the program objectives and applicants' future career plan.

7. Qualifications and Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

(1) Nationality
  • Syrian citizens
(2) Age
  • Between 22 and 39 years of age (as of September 1st, 2017)
(3) Refugee Status
  • Applicants who are registered as a refugee by UNHCR
(4) Education
  • Bachelor's degree (equivalent to at least 16 years of academic background)
(5) English - language Proficiency
  • Adequate English or Japanese skills both in written and oral communication to complete the master's course.
(6) Academic Ability
  • Adequate academic ability to complete the master's course
(7) Understanding of the Program
  • Applicants are required to have clear understanding of the objectives of JISR, and to have a strong will to contribute to the peacebuilding and/or reconstruction of Syria in the future as well as to strengthen the friendship between Syria and Japan
(8) Others Applicants must:
  • not be receiving or planning to receive a scholarship offered by other foreign organizations for master degree

*Important notice
The note about pregnant applicants has been removed from "7. Qualifications and requirements" of the application guideline, as the note may cause misinterpretation that pregnant women cannot apply. There is no restriction of application by the reason of pregnancy.(2016/12/21)

8. Application Documents for 1st Batch

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