AMMAN- Middle East University (MEU) launched today, Monday, a new academic path that considered the first of its kind among Jordanian higher education institutions 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. In this occasion, the University has organized a ceremony under the patronage of the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Prof. Adel Al-Twaisi. The ceremony was attended by British Ambassador to Jordan Edward Oakden, the President of Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission for Higher Education Institutions, Dr. Bashir Al-Zu'bi, and a number of ministers, ambassadors, university presidents and from the Middle East University, Dr. Yacoub Nasereddin and the University President, Mohamed Al-Haila, as well as Vice Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, Bill Rammel, and the representative of the London School of Science, John Phillips.
The Middle East University will start at the beginning of the second semester of the current academic year 2017 - 2018 offering programmes and specializations, under which the student is granted a UK degree. The Higher Education Council and the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission for Higher Education Institutions have approved the hosting of the Middle East University for programmes s and specializations under the agreement conducted with the British University Bedfordshire.
The Middle East University and the University of Bedfordshire have signed an agreement under which the University of Bedfordshire offers programmes s and academic disciplines hosted by the Middle East University. According to the agreement, UK degrees are awarded in bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees for Jordanian and Arab students in business administration, cyber security, graphic design and media.
In this regard, the President of Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission for Higher Education Institutions, Prof. Bashir Al-Zu'bi, said that the Commission is keen to facilitate the process of partnership between Jordanian universities and all foreign universities, especially British universities. He added that the Commission is keen to strengthen the relationship between the Jordanian Accreditation Commission and the UK Quality Assurance Authority in order to facilitate the establishment of joint and hosted programmes s between Jordanian and British universities and exchange experiences between the two institutions, noting that the standards of accreditation and quality assurance that applied to universities are international standards and are in line with the European standards.
Prof. Al-Zu’bi added that the Middle East University is one of the universities that has a good reputation inside and outside Jordan. He noted that the University’s Faculty of Law has recently obtained the Gold Category in Quality Assurance Certificate and that the University seeks to obtain quality assurance certificates in other disciplines. He expressed his confidence that the partnership between the Middle East University and the University Bedfordshire will benefit the two universities and friendly countries.
Prof. Al-Zu’bi also noted that higher education in Jordan has a good reputation at the local, regional and international levels. He said that the number of foreign students is about 39,700 students, which constitutes about 14% of the number of students in the Jordanian universities. He expressed his wishes that this percentage will increase to amount to 25% over the next three years, which requires a focus on quality assurance standards, excellence in programmes, in addition to innovating specializations that are attractive for foreign students.
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 relations that are associated with improving the outputs at a regional level. Mr. Okden said that the United Kingdom and Jordan have historical ties dating back to 1921. He said that the common challenges are not limited to confronting terrorism. He said that the main challenges now lie in securing jobs for young people and developing the quality of education that serves communities and empowering students to compete globally. He explained that this distinguished partnership between the two universities, which have been launched today, is heading toward tackling these challenges. He added that the educational disciplines that included in this agreement address the goals of improving the quality of education.
For his part, Dr. Nasereddin said: "This partnership is the first of its kind in Jordan. 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. We aim at bridging distances, save efforts and money to students and their families, in addition to providing science at the highest levels of teaching, qualification and training.”
Dr. Nasereddin added, “in the last few years, His majesty King Abdullah II presented his vision of improving education and developing its output in a way that suits the needs of comprehensive development, corresponds to the needs of the market and enhances the chances of innovation. Dr. Nasereddin noted that getting exposed to global experiences and making use of such exposure is of a great significance. He clarified that such an agreement is timely and adds an important dimension to the field of educational and scientific collaboration. Dr. Nasereddin stated that MEU has signed a number of agreements with different local and Arab universities and has been added to the Magna Carta Chart as it does not separate between the principles and ethics of education and scientific research as both are ultimately serve humanity. Moreover, Dr. Nasereddin highlighted and further appreciated the significant roles of the Jordanian Ministry of Higher Education, Accreditation and Quality Assurance of Higher Education institution, and the British Embassy in materializing this project.
On his part, 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. Professor Rammel asserted that such agreements enable strengthening the ties between Jordan and the UK and pave the way for other similar agreements between Bedfordshire University and other Jordanian universities that believe in cultural and educational exposure.
During this event, the agreement between the universities has been signed. In accordance with this agreement, Jordanian students who enroll with this programme will be awarded UK degrees at the different levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD in a variety of specializations including: Business Administration, Cyber Security, Graphic Design, and Media. The registration in this programme will open next semester of the academic year 2017- 2018.
The Middle East University was founded in 2005 as a Graduate Studies University with twelve specializations. Towards the beginning of the academic year 2008-2009 the university opened twenty specializations for both Graduate and Undergraduate students with the ongoing growth in staff and students.