The UK-based companies Times Higher Education and Quacquarelli Symonds have entered into agreements with the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission for Higher Education Institutions, and the partnerships’ aims are to “enhance cooperation in verifying data” for Jordanian universities participating in the global rankings.
President of Jadara University in Irbid, Jordan, Mohammad Obeidat, outlined the objective of the agreement.
“[It is to] obtain program or specialised accreditation, as well as institutional accreditation, in addition to enhancing the ranking of these universities in the classifications of these institutions.”
It comes as QS announced its global rankings in the Arab region, with the University of Jordan making it into the top 10 and 20 others being featured on the 181-strong list.
QS ranked the University of Jordan in the 601-650 level worldwide.
THE listed five Jordanian universities in this year’s rankings, with the Jordan University of Science and Technology ranking in the 401-500 level.
“[It is a step] towards transforming educational programs…in order to meet all international accreditation standards”
Spokesman for the Jordanian Ministry of Higher Education called the move a “step” in the right direction.
“Building and strengthening the relationship between Jordanian universities and various classification organisations is a step that integrates with the internal university policies,” said Muhannad Al-Katib.
“[It is a step] towards transforming educational programs…in order to meet all international accreditation standards.”
Before the agreements with the British organisations were finalised, the commission launched a classification project for higher education institutions and their programs to “improve the quality of higher education” in the country.
The aim was to encourage interaction between institutions and quality control bodies like the commission, to further prepare them for improvement within the rankings.
The region, however, does not lack international students, according to Ben Sowter, QS director research, who said a key strength of the area is its “ability to attract international faculty and students”.
Obeidat, who has experience as a previous advisor to the minister of higher education, agreed with the move citing that universities cannot “ignore the role of classifications”.
He went on to say they now play an “influential role” in the decisions of institutions when it comes to grants and institution partnerships.
THE and QS issue annual world rankings for universities in fields like international activity, employability, research – QS also recently introduced a sustainability criteria to its ranking system.