The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is located in the heart of the Middle East and the Arab World. Jordan is boarded on the north by Syria, on the east by Iraq and Saudi Arabia, on the south by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf of Aqaba, its only sea outlet, which gives access to the Red Sea. Its western boundary is the famous Jordan River, the Dead Sea and the West Bank. Jordan is the crossroads of the Middle East and is within easy reach of all major European cities as well as the African continent. The land of Jordan has been, for eight millenniums, a center of civilization. The great wealth of history and culture appears all over the country to the extent that Jordan can be considered an immense open museum. The famous historic sites are; Wadi Rum, Petra the capital of the Nabataean Arabs in Southern Jordan, Jerash, Rabad, Azrak, and Ma’an. The total area of the country is (96,18Smilie: 8) km2. Jordan has one of the best climates in the Middle East and it is as diverse as its scenery. It is influenced by the mountains on the West, and the desert on the East. Jordan’s climate year-round is pleasant. Arabic is the official language. English is the second language and is spoken at every level
throughout the country.

Brief History on Higher Education in Jordan:

Higher education in Jordan began with the second half of the twentieth century, namely the sixties, when numerous Teachers’ Colleges were established throughout the country. Their establishment provided the necessary teaching manpower needed to meet the high demand on school education characterizing that era. The first public Jordanian university, the University of Jordan, was established in 1962. Yarmouk University followed in 1976, and six more public universities were established in different parts of the Kingdom since that date. In 1989 the Council of Higher Education endorsed the first policy document authorizing the establishment of private universities. Amman University, the first Jordanian private university, was established in 1990. An impressive number of twelve more private universities were founded since that date.

Non-university education is offered at Community Colleges, which were created in 1981 by converting and expanding the existent Teacher Colleges. These institutions are meant to offer specialized, career-oriented training, and prepare their students
for work in middle-level professions. All community colleges are supervised by and affiliated to Al-Balqa Applied University, which is a Jordanian public university.

The Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research:

The Jordanian Council of Higher Education was established in 1982 in response to the need for regulation and planning of higher education policies and coordination among Jordanian public universities. The Council formed the core for the Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research, which was established in 1985. The Ministry and the Council undertook the mission of applying the government’s educational policies at post-secondary level, and of legislating up-to-date laws on higher education.

The Ministry of Higher Education was annulled in 1998, but was re-established in August 2001
according to instructions by His Majesty King Abdullah II, and renamed as The Ministry of Higher
Education and Scientific Research.

The New Higher Education Law in Jordan:

endorsed: Law no. 41 for the year 2001, which cancelled the previous Law. By this law, a Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research was established, and took over supervising all higher education issues, and includes the following Councils:
– The Higher Education Council (which comprises the Higher Committee for Scientific Research)
– The Accreditation Council
The new Higher Education Law assigned the Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research the following prominent functions:

1- Implementing the general policy of higher education in Jordan.
2- Coordinating between higher education institutions and public and private centers for consultations and research.
3- Signing cultural and scientific agreements in the field of higher education and scientific research.
4- Representing Jordan in international conferences and symposia on higher education.
5- Recognizing foreign institutions of higher education and equating certificates issued by them.
6- Setting student eligibility rules for scholarships inside and outside Jordan.
7- Following up the affairs of Jordanian students abroad through Jordanian cultural counselors.

The Law gave the Higher Education Council the following main functions:
1- Formulating the general policy of higher education in Jordan.
2- Endorsing the establishment of new higher education institutions.
3- Issuing instructions concerning administration and finance of the higher education sector.
4- Coordinating between local higher education institutions.
5- Evaluating the quality of higher education in terms of sufficiency and efficiency.
6- Determining the basic admission requirements at higher education institutions.

The Accreditation Council is given by the same law the following major duties:
1- Defining the regulations for the accreditation of higher education institutions, amending and developing them in light of the general policy of higher education.
2- Supervising the performance of higher education institutions and their commitment to applying the rules of accreditaion.
3- Appointing the specialized committees needed to carry out the tasks of the Accreditation Council.
4- Ensuring that institutions of higher education reach their pre-defined goals through continuous evaluation of their programs.

5- Proposing schemes for regulations and rules of the Council’s duties.

6- Publishing the decisions the Council takes concerning accreditation in the official media.

Jordanian Universities:
At present, there are eight public and thirteen private universities in Jordan. The Bachelor’s degree is offered at both types, while Master’s and Doctorate degrees are confined to public universities, except for “Amman Arab University for Graduate studies”, which is a private university specialized in offering Master’s and Doctorate degrees.
Public universities (with dates of foundation):
• The University of Jordan (1962)
• Yarmouk University (1976)
• Mu’tah University (1981)
• Al-Hussein bin Talal University (1999)
• Jordan University of Science and Technology (1986)
• Al-Albeit University (1993)
• Al-Hashemite University (Zarqa Public University) (1992)
• Al-Balqa Applied University (1997)
Private universities (with dates of foundation):
• Amman University (1990)
• Petra University (1991)
• Philadelphia University (1991)
• Applied Science University (1991)
• Al Isra University (1991)
• Princess Sumaya University of Technology (1991)
• Jordan Academy of Music (1990)
• Al-Zaytounah University (1992)
• Jerash University (1992)
• Zarqa University (1994)
• Irbid University (1995)
• University College of Educational Sciences (1993)
• Amman Arab University for Graduate Studies (1997)

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