Higher arts institutes and colleges are divided between 2 ministries: the Ministry of Higher Education is responsible for the Faculty of Antiquities and Museums in Damascus, the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus (1960), Aleppo (2006) and As Suwayda (2006), and the Faculty of Architecture in Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia and Homs (♥). The Ministry of Culture is responsible for the Intermediate Institute for Antiquities and Museums and the Technical Institute for Applied Arts, the Higher Institute for Music, the Higher Institute for Ballet and the Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts (all located in Damascus).
The inauguration of a SMOD branch (International Institute for Fashion Design) in Damascus in the late 1990s was one of the pioneering programmes in the field of arts leaching outside official institutions. This step was furthered by the introduction of a law pertaining to the organization of Syrian universities (2006), which allowed for the creation of private universities and the establishment of art departments (painting, graphic design, fashion design, interior design and architecture) in most private universities in Damascus, Aleppo, Hams and Raqqa.
Graduates from the Faculty of Fine Arts, and the Higher Institutes for Music, Ballet and Dramatic Arts, following the example of their fellow graduates from universities, benefit from the grant system of the Ministry of Higher Education, namely scholarships abroad during and after their studies. Artists also benefit from the grants offered by the British Council, French Cultural Centre, Instituto Cervantes and Goethe Institut.
[♥] From: Syria by Reem Al Khatib and Rana Yazaji published in ‘Cultural Policies in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia. An introduction’, Cultural Resource/European Cultural Foundation, Bookmanstudies, 2010, 199.