The commission that oversees higher-education quality in Jordan recently signed agreements with two British organizations that publish rankings of universities worldwide, to enhance cooperation in verifying data when Jordanian universities participate in international rankings.
The Jordanian government entity involved in the agreements is the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission for Higher Education Institutions, which formulates standards for accrediting public and private universities. The British organizations are Times Higher Education World University Rankings, published by Times Higher Education magazine, and QS World University Rankings, published by the company Quacquarelli Symonds.
Times Higher Education (THE) and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) each issue annual rankings of universities, based on their evaluations of determinants such as international activities, research, interaction with the industry sector, employment reputation of alumni, and the percentages of international students and international faculty members.
While the QS ranking prioritizes academic and employment reputation, giving only 20 percent to research, the Times Higher Education ranking puts more emphasis on research output and influence, for a combined weight of 60 percent.
Raising Universities’ Standards
“Building and strengthening the relationship between Jordanian universities and various classification organizations is a step that integrates with the internal university policies, towards transforming educational programs during the new academic year, in order to meet all international accreditation standards,” Muhannad Al-Khatib, a spokesman for the Jordanian Ministry of Higher Education, told Al-Fanar Media.
“We do not view these agreements as a requirement that must be obtained, but it is a way to promote and improve the culture of quality in Jordanian universities.”Muhannad Al-Khatib
A spokesman for the Jordanian Ministry of Higher Education
Al-Khatib noted that participating in international rankings is a way of maintaining a focus on educational quality. “We do not view these agreements as a requirement that must be obtained, but it is a way to promote and improve the culture of quality in Jordanian universities.”
Prior to signing the agreements, the commission launched the Jordanian classification project for universities and academic programs. The project’s aim is to improve the quality of higher education in the kingdom, and to encourage institutions to open up and interact with other universities, scientific research institutions, and international accreditation and quality control bodies.
Mohammad Obeidat, president of Jadara University, said: “The main objective of the agreements is to obtain program or specialized accreditation, as well as institutional accreditation for Jordanian universities, in addition to enhancing the ranking of Jordanian universities in the classifications of these institutions.”
Improving the status of Jordanian universities in international rankings contributes to providing greater job opportunities for their graduates, according to Obeidat. He explained that international companies and institutions in the Middle East recognize graduates of programs that hold these accreditations, which increases employment opportunities for Jordanian university graduates.
“The main objective of the agreements is to obtain program or specialized accreditation, as well as institutional accreditation for Jordanian universities, in addition to enhancing the ranking of Jordanian universities in the classifications of these institutions.Mohammad Obeidat
President of Jadara University
Obeidat, who previously served as an advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, said universities cannot ignore the classifications, which are now playing an influential role in the decisions of international institutions to provide grants or partner with universities.
Jordanian Universities in Recent Rankings
The highest ranked Jordanian university in the QS World University Rankings 2022, which features 1,300 universities from around the world, is the University of Jordan, the oldest and largest public university in the kingdom. It ranked at the 601-650 level worldwide (after the first several hundred places, universities are ranked in larger groups instead of individually) and it was rated 10th among Arab universities.
In rankings by specialization, the University of Jordan’s nursing program was in the 101-150 group, and in the separate QS Stars rating system, it achieved five stars, the highest level.
Seven other Jordanian universities were listed in QS’s 2022 rankings. They are the German Jordanian University, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Mutah University, Al-Balqa Applied University, the Hashemite University, and Yarmouk University.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 included more than 1,600 universities across 99 countries and territories. The five Jordanian universities listed and their ranking levels are: Jordan University of Science and Technology (401-500), Al-Balqa Applied University (801-1000), the University of Jordan (801-1000), the Hashemite University (1201+), and Yarmouk University (1201+).
To read more about rankings of universities in the Arab world, see the following articles from Al-Fanar Media’s archives: