Syrian Virtual University

Source in English:    ESCWA-OECD Case Study - Syrian Virtual University, Syria

The Syrian Virtual University (SVU) is an accredited public university that promotes e-learning, virtual learning and digital content development.  It introduced a new digital, self-financed model of education in Syria that is based on multi-, trans-, and inter-disciplinary orientations and specializations.   SVU provides a model of the fourth-generation universities which lies at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digital transformation.

Implementation: 2002


  • Ministries of Telecommunication, Tourism, and Administrative Development
  • Syrian public and private universities
  • Syrian public and private banks
  • Synergy University (Russian)
  • Saint Petersburg University (Russian)
  • Association of Virtual Universities in the Islamic Cooperation Countries
  • Damascus Centre for Research and Studies
  • Syrian Computer Society
  • The National Authority for Network Services in Syria
  • The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in Syria
  • Distinction and Creativity Agency
  • Academic electronic content development companies
  • Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization
  • Arab States Research and Education Network


This activity aims at transforming the traditional teaching mechanisms and providing education on the largest scale, both domestically and globally.   It adopts a new flexible model of learning, allowing learners to obtain knowledge and skills regardless of their geographical location, age, or gender, and to pursue their studies while keeping their jobs.


Given its modern structure and mechanisms, SVU constitutes a new culture within the Syrian educational system.   It represents a pioneering e-learning model in the Arab region that is based on digital content, open knowledge, and common creative content licensing, and promotes digital knowledge economy.   In addition, it focuses on the concept of learning instead of indoctrination, and guarantees quality standards, academic reliability, and full digital documentation for all quality control measures.   The SVU is continuously offering new academic and training programmes and launching new initiatives such as SVU open platform for academic content.


  • Learners seeking higher education, especially those who are in employment and are unable to adhere to traditional education, or have missed the opportunity to join traditional universities.
  • Employees working in several public and private institutions, who are entitled to preferential admission in SVU.
  • Grantees of scholarships, namely students who serve in the Syrian armed forces, top graduates, families of martyrs, war-wounded, and workers in partner institutions.


  • The SVU contributed to spreading digital culture in higher education by scientifically, financially and academically supporting similar activities.
  • The number of students increased from 200 to 35,000 students in the period of 2002-2020.
  • Workers represented 70 percent of SVU students in 2018 since they were given preference in admission.
  • New academic programs and specializations were launched in the last decade.
  • 800 full and partial scholarships were granted since 2017.


Being part of the Syrian governmental and academic system, SVU faced difficulties in overriding traditional administrative standards, which especially impeded the achievement of the zero-paper model.   Furthermore, SVU suffered from the outdated educational culture in Syria, and its unconventional learning approach was rejected by an important part of the academic body.

Useful links

Syrian Virtual University - Beyond the boundaries of time and space
Syrian Virtual University Activities
Syrian Knowledge Content - Building, Managing, Harnessing (in Arabic)


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