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Apply to Higher Education Services (HES)


In response to the COVID-19 crisis, SPARK, funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) are supporting the training of 100 Syrian refugee youth in short vocational courses in Iraq (including the Kurdistan Region of Iraq).


All Syrian refugee youth residing in the KR-I who meet the below criteria are invited to apply for a full scholarship. Covering tuition fees for a 3 month TVET degree as well as a monthly stipend of $210 for every month they are enrolled.


Apply now in English or Arabic.

  • You must have successfully completed pre-university studies (high school or equivalent).
  • You must hold Syrian nationality;
  • You must reside in Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq;
  • You must not have sufficient financial means to pursue higher education.
  • You must be aged between 18-35 years old.
  • Women candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Candidates with high academic performance and motivation are strongly encouraged to apply.

You cannot apply if:

  • You are over 35 years old.
  • You do not have a certificate or proving certified papers proves that you have finished high school.
  • You are currently studying at any other university and/or you are currently receiving (another) scholarship.
  • You are a SPARK alumni or current SPARK student.
  • You are unable to comply meet enrolment and academic criteria set by the vocational institution.
Terms & Conditions
  • Applicants must only apply for a SPARK scholarship in the country they currently reside in.
  • Applicants must have successfully completed High School.
  • Applications will be accepted in either English, Arabic or Kurdish language.
  • Applicants must have an Equivalent High school Certificate issued by the Iraqi Ministry of Education if they studied High School in another country.
  • Applicants must have a strong incentive to socialise with multi-cultural environments.
  • Applicants must be highly motivated to support their community.
  • Applicants are currently not receiving any scholarships through SPARK or any other service provider.
  • Applicants must not have other family members receiving a SPARK scholarship at the same time.
  • Applicants must have a strong motivation to complete a TVET vocational degree to enhance their skills and complete their chosen course.

– How can I apply for SPARK scholarship?

Click on Apply for this programme and you will access the application page. If this is your first time applying, click Start to make an account. If you have applied before or have signed up already, you can manage your application by clicking Login.

– Where do I find the deadlines for different courses?

Click on Apply for this programme. Here you will find the application deadlines for each course that is recruiting in each country.

If this is your first time applying, click Start to make an account. If you have applied before or have signed up already, you can manage your application by clicking Login.

– Can I save application progress and continue later?

Yes, after you create your account, you will receive an email with your application link, username and password. You can always access your account through your link or by clicking Apply for this programme then Login.

– What does the scholarship cover?

SPARK scholarships include student tuition and/or enrolment fees. Other allowances including local transportation, study materials and monthly stipends might be supported depending on the educational programme you are applying for.

– Does the scholarship cover the whole duration of my studies (if I’m approved for Bachelor’s degree)?

Bachelor’s degree scholarship covers the tuition fees for one academic year only, and may be renewed on a yearly basis, subject to availability of funds, and upon the receipt of end of year results from the Higher Education Institution in which you were admitted.

– I am Palestinian Syrian, am I eligible for a SPARK scholarship?

Yes, if you are a holder of Syrian passport or UN blue card.

– I am not from Syria or Palestine, am I eligible for a SPARK scholarship?

Yes, SPARK awards 30% of its scholarships to young people from the hosting nations surrounding Syria. You are also eligible to apply if you are from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Kurdistan Region of Iraq or Iraq.

– Can I apply for SPARK scholarship in a different country to where I am living? 

No, you can only apply for the scholarship offered in your country of residence. For example, if you are based in Lebanon, you can only apply for a SPARK scholarships in Lebanon.

– Do I need to speak English to apply for the scholarship?

This depends on the language of study per programme, at SPARK, we are giving priority to support scholarship programmes in Arabic and Kurdish. And English only when required.

– I do not have a language certificate. Can I still apply for a scholarship?

Yes you can. However, SPARK cannot guarantee that you will be considered for a scholarship.

– I lost my high school diploma. Can I still apply for a scholarship?

Yes you can. If you finished high school, you can still apply for a scholarship. Please fill in the questions about your high school diploma to the best of your ability. However, SPARK cannot guarantee that you will be considered for a scholarship.

– What is the equivalence certificate? How can I obtain it?

If you are Syrian or Palestinian Syrian, an equivalence certificate is generally obtained from the Ministry of Education or Ministry of Higher Education in the country where you now live. It is a state authentication of your high school degree that you obtained in Syria and an endorsement of your degree according to your host country’s educational grading system. We advise you to contact the Ministry of Education or Ministry of Higher Education in the country where you now live to know more about the procedures.

– Do I need a translation of my foreign diploma? How do I get it?

If you obtained a high school diploma (Baccalaureate), from a different country than the country you currently live in, you need to provide an English translation or translation to the local language (for example, Turkish) of this document. You need to take your original high school diploma (Baccalaureate) to a public notary and ask for an official translation.

– Can my scholarship be terminated?

Yes, SPARK reserves the right to terminate your scholarship at any moment duration your studies if:

  • You violate the code of conduct of the University/Higher Education Institution you are enrolled at.
  • You present dishonesty or misbehaviour towards SPARK staff or University/Higher Education Institution professors or lecturers can cause termination.
  • You are repeatedly absent from classes without valid justification.
  • You receive scholarship funds from another agency, person or organisation. Duplication of scholarships is strictly prohibited.
  • You receive approval in a UNHCR resettlement programme or any other resettlement programme by any other organisation that would prevent you from completing the study programme. This will lead to automatic termination of your scholarship.

The scholarship will be terminated after the expiration of the contractual obligation period stipulated in the contract (this is generally 1 year).

– Does the scholarship cover graduate studies (Masters, PhD)?

No, SPARK scholarships only cover a variety of short-term courses, vocational education programmes and Bachelor’s programmes.

– Will SPARK help me find a job after I graduate?

SPARK is a not-for-profit international organisation that develops higher education and entrepreneurship to empower young and ambitious people. The HES programme provides higher education scholarships and does not provide jobs after the education period. Nevertheless, the programme provides constant mentorship to scholars, which will help you to shape your career.

Upon graduation, students can join the SPARK Alumni Network and profit from a wide range of benefits. The SPARK Alumni Network provides access to training, workshops and connections to jobs and new networks.

– I did not find answers to my questions here or I am having difficulty with submitting my application.

Please contact your local SPARK office:

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