A system dynamic model of student enrolment at the private higher education sector in Syria

Louna Al Hallak, Rami M. Ayoubi, Alfredo Moscardini, Mohamed Loutfi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the dynamics of student enrolment in the Syrian private higher education sector. The paper adopts a system dynamics approach, to construct suitable simulation models that could be used to examine the complex and dynamic interactions between student flows, staff ratios and investments in plant and facilities. The study involved interviews with key university personnel, focus groups with university staff, a survey of student perceptions and personal observations of key departments at the university selected for the study. Further interviews were held with members of staff of all the other private universities in Syria. The simulation model developed in this study has provided insightful and meaningful exploration of data whose practical applicability is not necessarily restricted to the Syrian university, but broadly encompasses all educational sectors, whether private or public. The model designed in this research is a decision support system, one that is a flexible tool to design measures that might help to improve student enrolments. University management can use the simulation model to create different future scenarios, involving changes in student numbers, staff–student ratios or investment in plant and facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-682
Number of pages20
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number4
Early online date25 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • decision support systems
  • enrolment management
  • higher education
  • student choice
  • Syria
  • System dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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