Education in Arab Countries of the Near East: Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon

By Roderic D. Matthews; Matta Akrawi | Go to book overview

Chapter 22
HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE EDUCATION OF TEACHERS

Syrian University

UNTIL OCTOBER 1946 the Syrian University consisted of the Faculties of Medicine and of Law. The Faculty of Medicine was founded in 1901 and the Faculty of Law in 1912, both by the Ottoman government. Both Faculties were closed toward the end of the First World War, but were reopened by the Arab government in 1919 as separate schools. In 1923 they were joined to form the Syrian University which also included the Arab Academy and the Antiquities Department. These latter two institutions were separated from the University in 1928, and a Higher School of Letters, offering a three-year course, was added in the same year. The Higher School of Letters was abolished in 1933. This left the original two Faculties of Medicine and of Law as the only branches of the University.

At the time of the visit of the American Council Commission, the reorganization of Syrian education was beginning to affect the University. A former Egyptian Minister of Education, Dr. Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanhuri Pasha, who had previously been dean of the Faculty of Law at Fuad I University, was responsible for developing plans for the reorganization of the University, which include the founding of new Faculties. It was planned to open initially Faculties of Letters, Science, and Engineering, and a Higher Teachers College. The Faculty of Engineering was to be in Aleppo while the others were to be in Damascus. Faculties of Agriculture and Commerce may be opened later. The reorganization plan was established by Decree No. 40, dated September 11, 1946, "Embodying the Cadre of the Syrian University." The first students were admitted to the new Faculties in October 1946.

The administration of the University is entrusted to a president who is appointed by a decree of the Council of Ministers acting upon the recommendation of the Minister of Education. The president presides over the University council unless the Minister of Education, who is the supreme head

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