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Turkish Educator Pledges $10M To Set Up Universities For Syrian Refugees

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Once a sleepy border town, Reyhanli, Turkey, is now bursting with Syrian refugees, many of them school-age. More than half a million Syrian refugee children are out of school, and the education crisis is fueling an epidemic of early marriage, child labor and bleak futures.

"I just finished the 12th grade and I don't know what to do," says Abdullah Mustapha, a refugee from the Syrian town of Hama.

In fluent English, he talks about his dreams of a college education, but he doesn't speak Turkish well enough to pass the language test required for state universities.

He's not alone. More than 40,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey would have been college bound before the war, but attempts to continue university studies in Turkey largely have been a failure.

Now, Turkish educator Enver Yucel is offering an ambitious solution: an accredited university system, with coursework in Arabic and English as well as Turkish, on campuses along the Turkish border.

Read the full story on NPR.