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Full programme (PDF)


  • Syrian academics to share their research findings and recommendations with an audience from the academic and humanitarian sectors.
  • Highlight the importance of their unique insights, given local knowledge, expertise and connections.
  • Prompt discussion on issues raises, what needs to be done next and by whom.
  • Prompt new partners and engage funders in follow-up work.
  • Get Syrian higher education and its tertiary educators back on the international agenda.


This event is supported by The Royal Society and The British Academy.

Collaborators: Universities of Edinburgh and Sussex.

UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) Framework

Each day is themed, with a number of sub-themes under which over 50 Cara Syria Programme supported studies have been clustered, allied to a number of UNSDGs.

  • Day 1. ‘Reconstructing Syrian Society: The role of higher education.’
  • Day 2. ‘Inequality & Displacement.’
  • Day 3. ‘Operationalising Research to Help Rebuild Syria’s Infrastructure .’
  • Day 4. ‘Syrian Food Futures: Agriculture & food security.’
  • Day 5. ‘Syria: Partnership for the goal of quality higher education.’

Welcome and Keynote speakers

  • Professor Simon Goldhill FBA, British Academy Foreign Secretary
  • Professor Sir Malcolm Grant CBE, Cara President
  • Professor Robin Grimes FRS FREng, incoming Royal Society Foreign Secretary
  • Dr Flavia Schlegel, International Science Council Special Envoy for Science in Global Policy
  • Professor Jim Al-Khalili CBE FRS, theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster

Session chairs

  • Day 1. Professor Sir Malcom Grant CBE/Cara President; Professor Elaine Unterhalter FBA/UCL IOE; Professor Christine Chinkin FBA/LSE; Dr Bahriye Kemal/Kent; Dr Maggie Grant/Stirling.
  • Day 2. Professor Dawn Chatty FBA/Oxford; Professor Ann Phoenix FBA/UCL IOE; Professor Tom Shakespeare FBA/LSHTM; Professor Jen Baird/Birbeck; Dr Kristen Hopper/Durham.
  • Day 3. Professor Michael Worton CBE/UCL; Professor Mark Pelling/KCL; Professor Robin Perutz FRS/York; Dr Bahriye Kemal/Kent; Dr Maggie Grant/Stirling.
  • Day 4. Professor Joanna Haigh CBE FRS/Imperial; Professor Lisa Boden/Edinburgh; Professor Colleen McLaughlin/Cambridge.
  • Day 5. Professor Michael Worton CBE/UCL; Professor Colleen McLaughlin/Cambridge; Dr Juliet Millican/IDS & Dr Fateh Shaban/FAU.

"This symposium offers a chance to close the gender gap that has always existed. The evening cultural events pave the way to explore the new roles that women have played since the Syrian revolution, as novelists and writers."
Hiba Al Haji

Evening cultural events (6pm GMT)

  • 6/12/21 'Women Writing Syria: Resilience, Solidarity, Movement', with readings from Samar Yazbek and other Syrian authors and activists
  • 7/12/21 'Syrian Cultural Heritage: Global North/South Collaboration'
  • 8/12/21 'Documenting Syria: Health, Space, Activism' Q&A with BAFTA award-winning director of 'For Sama', Waad al-Kateab
  • 9/12/21 'Syrian Humming Project' Dr Suk-Jun Kim, Korean composer & sound artist

View the full programme here (PDF)

Attending this event

  • The event will begin on Monday 6 December at 10.00 GMT
  • Once you have booked your free ticket, you will be sent a link by email that will allow you to join the event.