Higher education minister Adel Tweisi said the reform was instigated to ensure that Jordanian students looking to study overseas were able to choose a reputable institution, by understanding the worth of foreign accreditations.
“It’s not breaking new ground for universities and countries per se”
“The aim of these amendments is to ensure the quality of the different higher education outputs, and to direct students to register in internationally recognised institutions”, he said.
It is also a streamlining effort, Tweisi told local media.
“It does not make sense to reapply our criteria to each foreign university if we consider that the standards used by most official accreditation commissions are similar to ours.”
Paul Fear, chief executive officer at the British Accreditation Council told The PIE News that the announcement would bring Jordan into line with many other countries.
“This wouldn’t be unusual in Europe and in many countries. It’s not breaking new ground for universities and countries per se.”
He continued to say that the move could benefit students, universities and Jordan.
“With any regulatory regime… opening and allowing students to go outside of the country, study and bring those skills back, one it’s good for the students – they can travel elsewhere, they can choose which institutions they want to study at – they have access to the best institutions in the world.”
Accrediting degrees from other countries “is a very good way of making sure that students do come back”, Fear stated. Skills returning students bring to Jordan could create employment and ensure the economy is up to speed with the best developments elsewhere.
“In other countries that have been in similar situations … they often just lose their best students to overseas institutions, [who] get well qualified and then stay in the country where they studied because their degree is not being recognised back in Jordan itself.”
However, the impact on universities in Jordan could be negative as well as positive, according to Fear.
“[Universities] might see some students choosing to study overseas, at the same time, there’s more opportunities to collaborate with other universities outside of Jordan. It could significantly improve or help develop Jordanian universities, in terms of developing their reputations.”
The ministry lists recognised universities on its website.