Internationalisation of higher education in Jordan

Universities in Jordan aim to raise among the world-class universities, providing students with quality education and learning experience, adopting research programs, producing and disseminating knowledge and integrating a lifelong learning approach to contribute to the quality of local, regional and international communities. Being international and being recognized at international level has indeed been a priority for most of the HEIs in the country, with the overall purpose of becoming competitive and delivering high quality education in line with international standards. Jordanian universities have increased their attractiveness in the region, thanks to the process of modernization undergone in recent years, as well as their reputation in Europe, Africa, and Asia. After more than a decade of cooperation projects, and capacity building actions, Jordanian HEIs are now considered as well-experienced and reliable actors. The University of Jordan and the Jordan Institute of Science and Technology are considered among the best institutions in the Arab world. Concerning academic mobility, Jordan raised in the South-Mediterranean region as a preferred destination, thanks to the quality and attractiveness of HE, and the stability of the country over the years with respect to other MENA countries.

A special focus is posed now on internationalization of research, which might be the new open window for Jordanian universities, through the development of joint research programs and joint degrees with international counterparts, and developing more doctoral programmes. Also, the European Commission recognises Jordan as one of the most promising actors in the Arab countries for research.

From 2015 to 2020 Jordanian universities took part in 53 projects funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, (against 210 projects funded for the whole South-Mediterranean region). Jordanian universities participated as Coordinators of 16 projects,  which is an outstanding result compared with the neighbouring countries.

In a context where funds are limited but the national policy has always been supportive, the commitment of universities has been the real driving factor. Universities have shown a great commitment to establishing international relations, to collaborating more with institutes all over the world, to sending and receiving students and staff, to engaging in cooperation projects and so on. While historically Jordan had connections mainly with the United States and with the United Kingdom, in recent years the European Member States have opened the doors to a wider range of possibilities through its programmes, increasing cooperation agreements with almost all European Member States, especially with Germany, Spain and Italy. Although the Constitution of Jordan states that the Arabic language is the official language of teaching and learning, in practice in most universities teaching is in English language, especially in hard sciences.

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