Japanese Initiative for the future of Syrian Refugees (JISR)

Many thousands of Syrians have been forced to leave their home country and flee to neighboring countries and beyond since the conflict started in 2011, and the majority of these refugees have been staying in host communities. Under their severe and harsh living conditions, the international community is required to support those refugees from a humanitarian standpoint. The protracted crisis is depriving the refugees from their opportunities to study, which is likely to become the main reasons for considerable loss of human resources for the reconstruction of the Syrian Arab Republic (hereinafter referred to as "Syria") in the future.

Against this backdrop, the Japanese government announced in May 2016 that Japan would accept a maximum of 150 Syrian young personnel as students over five years with the aim of offering educational opportunities to Syrian youths who will contribute to Syria's future reconstruction when it takes place. Accordingly, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) established the program "Japanese Initiative for the future of Syrian Refugees" (hereinafter referred to as "JISR") in cooperation with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for providing higher education opportunities at a Master's degree level in Japanese universities to a maximum of 100 Syrian refugees who are staying in neighboring countries.

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 (hereinafter referred to as "Participants") to study in graduate courses for their Master's courses at Japanese universities. This program intends to foster capable Syrian individuals to lead Syria's reconstruction and peace-building efforts 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.

  1. Program Title: Japanese Initiative for the future of Syrian Refugees (JISR)
  2. Language of the Program: English
  3. Course: Master's Degree Program
  4. Number of Participants/year: Approximately 20 (Lebanon & Jordan combined)


  1. Overall Program: August 2016 – September 2024
    Participants will be accepted every year from 2017 to 2021.
  2. Admission Schedule: September / October 2019
    • Participants will come to Japan in July 2019 to take part in a post-arrival orientation and Japanese Language Program before admission to Japanese universities.
    • 6 months or 1 year as a research student if necessary (See Section 12) and 2 years as a Master's student. (Maximum three years enrollment).

Target Participants

This program targets Syrian refugees who are known to UNHCR, who are currently residing in Jordan or Lebanon, and who will play leading roles in Syria's reconstruction and peace-building efforts in the private, governmental, or educational sectors in the future.

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 fields of study.

Application Documents for 2019


Applicants are encouraged to submit their application in hardcopy to any of the designated UNHCR Offices. The deadline for submission of applications is Friday, 30th November, 2018. Many thanks in advance for your support. If you have any inquiries, do not hesitate to contact JICA’s office (apply-jisr@jds21.com).


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