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28 June 2021, Irbid-Jordan, Yarmouk University

Over one million Syrians have been displaced in Jordan for the last ten years. According to new research, many Syrian refugees in Jordan do not yet see themselves returning to Syria within the next two years. Even though the crisis in Syria continues, international support for Syrian refugees in Jordan has already begun to decline.

This situation was the focus of a recent online workshop 28 June organised by Yarmouk University. Field research on the situation of Syrian refugees in Jordan was conducted by the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) in Norway and Yarmouk University. as part of the EU funded TRAFIG project (Transnational Figurations of Displacement) project led by BICC (Germany). The TRAFIG project aims to develop alternative solutions to protracted displacement that are tailored to the needs and capacities of displaced people. It examines how local and transnational connectivity, in addition to mobility, can benefit refugees in their everyday life.

The online workshop was attended by 20 stakeholders from among NGOs, civil society and academia and was led by Dr. Fawwaz Al-Momani, director of the project at Yarmouk University.. According to Al-Momani, “besides further exploring how transnational networks can help resolve protracted displacement, there is also a need to discuss the scenarios of voluntary return” for Syrian refugees given the decline of international support and the lack of other durable solutions.

In order to learn more about TRAFIG research in Jordan, please visit TRAFIG Working Paper No. 6 "Figurations of Displacement in and beyond Jordan" and the corresponding TRAFIG Practice Note No. 6 "Out-of-camp but not out of mind: Supporting Syrian refugees in Jordan’s cities", or the TRAFIG project.

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The President of Yarmouk University Dr. Nabil Hailat discussed on Tues. 15th, 2021 with a German delegation the possibility of supporting the German language at the university, as well as the opportunities of collaboration in the field of Middle East Studies program and fellowship programs for researchers.

Hailat and the delegates, including the Regional Director of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Amman, Benjamin Schmaling, and the Cultural Attaché at the German Embassy in Amman, Leonie Lorenz, discussed means of cooperation between Yarmouk and various German universities and academic institutions, in the fields of exchanging professors, administrative staff and students.

Talks during the meeting also tackled supporting Yarmouk’s Arabic language for Non-Native Speakers Department at the Faculty of Arts, which was established as part of the University’s strategic plan to expand by offering specializations that meet with the labor market needs.

The German Director Schmaling expressed his appreciation of the mutual cooperation, stressing the importance of the grants offered by the DAAD in enhancing the skills and knowledge of the administrative staff and students of Yarmouk.

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The four-week course entitled "How to Develop a Project Proposal - EU Programmes for Non-EU Countries", which was held online through zoom, organized by the University's Department of International Relations and Projects in collaboration with the Union of Mediterranean Universities (UNIMED) was concluded. Dr. Ghazi Magableh, the Director of the Department of International Relations and Projects, expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Union of Mediterranean Universities for their cooperation in providing such a training course, which helps faculty members to develop their skills and enhance their capacity to prepare projects proposals. He stated that the course aimed at raising the level of skills and knowledge among faculty members on writing project proposals, submitting applications for projects and grants, choosing the right partner from European higher education institutions, developing strong, innovative and successful proposals, and improving the university's research capacity.

Marcelo Scalise, the director of the Federation of Mediterranean Universities, said that the course is held for the first time online and it will be developed to include other universities that are members of the Federation after receiving feedback from participants in this course in order to develop and improve their hubs.

Interestingly, twenty faculty members from various faculties of the University (information technology, computer science, economics and administrative sciences, education, and al-Hajjawi for technological engineering, arts, medicine, pharmacy and tourism) participated in the course, which includes several topics among which outstands the introduction of EU programs for non- European countries, which includes H2020 research support program, Erasmus+ education and Europe Aid program to support cooperation for development, and some others.

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Yarmouk University's team won the first place in the American Concrete Institute Competition for Jordanian Universities, which was held remotely among 10 teams from nine different universities participating in the competition: Yarmouk University, the University of Jordan, the University of Science and Technology, the University of Mu'tah, the Hashemite University, Al al-Bayt University, the Applied University of Balqa (Faculty of Technological Engineering- Polytechnic), al-Balqa Applied University (Al-Huson University College), and Al-Ahliyya Amman University. The three-stage competition, which was organized online under the supervision of the American Concrete Institute/ Yarmouk University branch, included various questions and information in the field of concrete and construction design.

Yarmouk University's team managed to achieve the first place, followed by the University of Mu'tah team in the second place, the Hashemite University team in the third place, and the University of Jordan team in the fourth place. Thus, Dr. Fares Al Mutaqeh, students' branch supervisor at Yarmouk University, said that the competition is part of several competitions held by the American Concrete Institute for Students with the aim of developing their skills in information on concrete technology and construction design as well as creating a spirit of positive competition among students from various Jordanian universities.

The Dean of al-Hajjawi Faculty of Technological Engineering, Dr. Otoom praised the efforts made by the student branch of the American Concrete Institute in organizing this competition and thanked the winning teams for their efforts, stressing the keenness of al-Hajjawi Faculty to support students' activities and develop their skills in different fields.

The opening of the competition was attended by Ahmed Muhanna, the Regional Director of the American Concrete Institute in the Middle East and North Africa, Dr. Mathhir Ta'amneh, the Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at Yarmouk University, Dr. Yasmine Murad, Student Branch Supervisor at the University of Jordan, Dr. Tarek Ja'afra, Student Branch Supervisor at Mu'tah University, and Dr. Fares Matalka, Student Branch Supervisor at Yarmouk University.

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ALESCO

The Refugees, Displaced Persons and Forced Migration Studies Center at Yarmouk University established the " ALECSO  Chair for Asylum, Displacement and Forced Migration" to join the scientific chairs at the Arab World level affiliated with the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science (ALECSO ), which functions within the framework of the Arab League.

Dr. Anas Al-Subh, the director of the Refugees, Displaced Persons and Forced Migration Studies Center at Yarmouk, explained that the establishment of this chair aims at developing work on asylum, displacement and forced migration issues at the level of the Arab member states, thus the chair can contribute to strengthening the center's capabilities by addressing asylum issues and their consequences in Jordan as well as the Arab World, participating in conferences held by the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Arts within the framework of refugees, and building bridges of dialogue and cooperation between the member states of the organization.

The Secretariat of the Executive Board and the General Conference of the Organization (Section of National Committees) have started to hold the second series of sessions with the officials and members of the 19 scientific chairs affiliated with ALECSO , from 05 to 29 April 2021, considering that the first sessions of the series were held with the scientific chair affiliated with ALECSO  from Jordan at Yarmouk University, which is run by Dr. Anas Al-Subh, in the presence of Dr. Alaa Al-Quda, Deputy Director, and Azzam Al-Azam, the Program Supervisor.

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