President of PSUT participates in the 6th International Conference on ‘Higher Education in the Middle East and North Africa’

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 10:30


 Prof. Mashhoor Al-Refai, President of Princess Sumaya University for Technology, participated in the 6th International Conference on ‘Higher Education in the Middle East and North Africa’, which was held recently in Marseilles, France. The conference was organized with the support of the World Bank and enjoyed the participation of experts from the World Bank, EU institutions and universities, and top academics from eight Arab countries, namely Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The conference focused on governance, finance and the international dimension of higher education.

During the conference, Prof. Al-Refai reviewed the status of higher education in Jordan and the most important challenges faced by Jordanian universities. He spoke about applied scientific research in universities, networking with industry, and the shift in focus to technical education and vocational training in the coming years to increase the number of students enrolled in these programs. He also talked about the Jordanian universities' interest in focusing on the international dimension and networking with international universities in order to benefit and exchange experience with them through the establishment of shared academic programs, joint research projects and student exchange programs in order to ensure the quality of higher education and scientific research, and to obtain international accreditation, all in an effort  to improve the status of Jordanian universities on the global level.

Prof. Al-Refai pointed to the importance of the Higher Education Council’s recent decision to evaluate the administrative work of universities in Jordan, as well as the setting of criteria in this regard. He also talked about the decision of the Jordanian Higher Education Accreditation Commission to set criteria for the classification of programs and universities on the domestic level. He also referred to PSUT’s successful experience in this area and its leadership role in the National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education project which aims at supporting the formulation of learning outcomes in terms of qualifications according to the Jordanian classification and evaluation standards, thus improving qualifications and standards while also giving a clear picture of the importance of educational outcomes for individuals and employers.  The project focuses on the increased understanding of how qualifications are inter-connected, the facilitation of horizontal and vertical transition within the education and training system via a bridging network between qualifications, the promotion of lifelong learning, the establishment of evaluation systems and a comprehensive system of accreditation and quality assurance, and the facilitation of access to education, training, mobility and progress in education, vocational training and career mobility. The ultimate aim is to make progression smoother and easier than in the current situation, as the framework will provide a mechanism to ensure that equivalent qualifications are linked to social and economic needs by connecting the education system with the labor market, raising the social value and thus enrollment rates in vocational training tracks, ensuring quality standards and facilitating the conformity of Jordanian qualifications with those of other countries to ensure regional and international accreditation of Jordanian degrees and other qualifications.

PSUT has received support from the European Union for 32 projects, five of which are managed by the University. This reflects the University’s policy of focusing on the international dimension and networking with international universities through joint programs, student and faculty exchange programs, joint supervision of postgraduate theses, and participation in academic conferences, all with a view to putting the University in the ranks of the world's top universities and advancing the academic and research process in the fields of Engineering, IT, and Business Technology.