The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has revived a strategy drawn up last year to develop the country’s higher education system, the minister said on Wednesday.
Minister of Higher Education Wajih Oweis told The Jordan Times that the strategy, which was drafted during his previous tenure as minister in the government of former premier Marouf Bakhit, was put on hold due to changes in the government before being endorsed by the Cabinet on Tuesday.
The endorsement of the strategy will ensure that it is implemented by both the current government and future governments, Oweis said, regardless of whether he retains his ministerial post.
The strategy, which will begin implementation in the 2013/2014 academic year, seeks to reduce the number of students at universities through the development of technical schools in order to ease the growing pressure on universities.
In addition, admission criteria to the Kingdom’s universities will be modified through the annulment of “unjustified exceptions” to the criteria.
Students will also be admitted into some programmes directly through universities and not through the Unified Admissions Committee, according to the strategy.
Currently, all students who pass the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination (Tawjihi) with an average of 65 per cent or above and wish to enter public universities apply through the committee.
The strategy also identifies the financial support public universities will require from the government for the upcoming academic year.
According to the plan, the estimated budget to be allocated to the Kingdom’s universities in 2013 is estimated at JD138 million, including JD25 million for the student loan fund.