ALEPPO, Syria — Many secondary school graduates in northern Syria have moved to Turkey to complete their university studies due to a lack of internationally accredited universities in the areas under the Syrian opposition's control. These students believe a university degree from Turkey will benefit their education and increase their chances of finding suitable job opportunities. Meanwhile, the students who are unable to travel and pursue their studies abroad are waiting to obtain a university degree from an internationally accredited higher education institution in Syria.
The Euphrates Shield area, controlled by the Free Syrian Army, has three universities. The International Sham University opened near Azaz on June 23, 2016, and is affiliated with the Council for Higher Education established by Syrian academics in May 2015. The university is administered by the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) and collects from its students an annual tuition fee of $100.