The Syrian Space Agency will be a public body with a scientific and research nature, according to a state-run Syrian news service. But actually conducting science may prove difficult, as many Syrian scientists and academics have fled the country due to violence and persecution. Before the civil war, Syrian doctors left the country at a higher-than-expected rate. Since the war began in March 2011, universities in Syria have become contested spaces. A report on Syrian universities in the uprising notes, "Syrian human rights monitoring organizations estimate that more than 35,000 Syrian students have been arrested on campus since the start of the revolution."