Jordan reins in private sector

August 25, 2006

Jordan's Higher Education Ministry has been inundated with bids to set up private universities. Of 24 applications received last year, four were given permission to proceed - three of them graduate schools - bringing the number of Jordanian private universities to 14.

To ensure that these institutions do not focus too heavily on subjects that are in demand among wealthy students, Jordan's higher education council has stipulated that universities must also offer undergraduate courses.

It wants to encourage private universities to offer courses in marine and broad-based medical sciences to diversify the country's economy. With no statistics on the number of students enrolled in specific subjects, the ministry is working with the UN Development Programme on a study to better co-ordinate the needs of the market and graduating students.

"We are seriously working on this, as everyone is studying IT, engineering and medicine," Raghad Fariz, a senior ministry official, said. "We have too many doctors and engineers."

Under reforms being pushed by the World Bank, Jordan's accreditation council, which oversees the private higher education sector, will be independent of the ministry and supervise both university sectors.

Part of the challenge has been ensuring that private universities do not dilute teaching quality with excess intakes. According to Mr Fariz, the council has penalised private universities with fines of 50,000 dinars (£38,000) for enrolling too many students.

Meanwhile, the rise of the private sector, which also runs programmes in co-operation with non-education companies, is forcing the public sector of Jordanian higher education to become more commercially aware.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework

people dressed in game of thrones costume

Old Germanic languages are back in vogue, but what value are they to a modern-day graduate? Alice Durrans writes