(MENAFN- Jordan Times) AMMAN — There are around 39,700 foreign students enrolled at Jordanian universities, constituting about 14 per cent of the total number of students, according to a senior higher education official.
The percentage of foreign students is expected to reach 25 per cent over the next three years, according to president of Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission for Higher Education Institutions, Bashir Al Zu'bi.
Zu'bi, who was speaking at a ceremony to announce the launch of an academic programme between Middle East University (MEU) and the British University of Bedfordshire on Monday, said these students pursue their education in the Kingdom due to the good reputation Jordanian universities enjoy in the region and elsewhere in the world.
He said Monday's agreement between a Jordanian university and a British one testifies to the fact that Jordanian universities are qualified to build 'strategic cooperation with world-renowned universities'.
The agreement is 'a new academic path considered the first of its kind among Jordanian higher education institutions', a statement by MEU said, adding that the programme will enable the university 'to host experiences from the British University of Bedfordshire to teach students at MEU's campus, based on the Royal vision of reforming education and enhancing its outcomes'.
The ceremony, held under the patronage of Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Adel Tweisi, was attended by British Ambassador to Jordan Edward Oakden, ministers, ambassadors, Yacoub Nasereddin from the MEU, University President Mohamed Al Haila, vice chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, Bill Rammel, and the representative of the London School of Science, John Phillips.
MEU will start offering programmes and specialisations, under which the student is granted a UK degree at the beginning of the second semester of the current academic year 2017/2018.
The Higher Education Council and the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission for Higher Education Institutions have approved MEU hosting programmes and specialisations under the agreement conducted with the British University of Bedfordshire, according to the statement.
According to the agreement, UK degrees are awarded in bachelor's, master's and PhD degrees for Jordanian and Arab students in business administration, cyber security, graphic design and media.
In this regard, Zu'bi, said that the commission is keen to facilitate the process of partnership between Jordanian universities and all foreign universities, especially British universities.
Zu'bi added that MEU has a good reputation inside and outside Jordan.
For his part, British Ambassador to Jordan, Edward Okden, said that the partnership between the two universities is an important step in the path of higher education in the two countries, calling for turning this partnership into a model in the academic cooperation that is associated with improving the outputs at a regional level.
For his part, Nasereddin said that cooperation with British universities was not new, adding that contacts over the launch of the programme started some time ago. 'We have worked for more than two years with British universities that will start teaching the disciplines that we saw as a priority at this stage at the bachelor, master and doctorate levels. We welcome the students from Jordan and the Arab countries,' he said.
'We aim at bridging distances, saving efforts and money for students and their families, in addition to providing science at the highest levels of teaching, qualification and training,' Nasereddin added.
Addressing the ceremony, the vice chancellor of Bedfordshire University, Professor Bill Rammel, indicated that 'despite the distance separating the two countries as well as the cultural differences, our common mission is to guarantee quality education that contributes towards improving Jordanian community'.
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