By Dana Al Emam for Jordan Times
In a bid to enhance national and international competitiveness, the Higher Education Accreditation Commission (HEAC) on Monday launched a system of national ranking for Jordanian universities.
The evaluation includes five ranking criteria: teaching and learning (250 points), scientific research (250 points), internationalisation (150 points), quality of graduates (200 points) and academic accreditation (150 points).
In addition to the five key criteria, the ranking system also includes 29 performance indicators, said HEAC President Bashir Zu’bi, adding that the ranking system is designed to boost the competitiveness of local universities and to prepare them to excel alongside high-end universities worldwide.
The national ranking system seeks to improve learning outcomes, create better connections with the labour market, develop scientific research, attract potential international students and qualify local universities to obtain international accreditation, Zu’bi said at the event, held at the Applied Science University (ASU) in Amman.
Furthermore, the ranking system will help universities to realise the target number of international students, which currently stands at 40,523 students and is planned to reach 70,000 students over the next three years. Zu’bi said excellence is the best way to achieve that.
The HEAC is scheduled to issue the first ranking by September 2017.
Until then, the commission will work to raise awareness within higher education institutions through workshops, and after a year, it will issue standards and criteria on the level of programmes, the official said.
Two follow-up studies will be conducted to gauge the satisfaction of students and employers, in addition to forming a permanent committee tasked with reviewing and developing the ranking system.
Higher Education Minister Adel Tweisi highlighted the improvement of higher education as one of the five main pillars of the national strategy for developing the Kingdom’s human resources.
He said the ranking system will act as a catalyst for universities to improve performance in the five categories, particularly those related to the employability of graduates.
ASU President Mahfouth Joudeh said the clear and specific criteria of the national ranking system can remarkably enhance the quality of higher education outcomes, which will better match the labour market’s needs.
Zu’bi concluded that the ranking is the first of its kind locally and regionally, adding that Jordan’s experience could be presented to the Association of Arab Universities as a model which could be adopted by other Arab universities.