Jordan becoming preferred higher education destination as int’l student enrolment rises

AMMAN — The number of international students enrolled in Jordanian universities for the first semester of the 2017-2018 academic year has increased by a 115 per cent as compared to the same period last year, Director of International Student Affairs at the Higher Education Ministry Fidaa’ Tameemi told The Jordan Times on Thursday. 
The increase is a result of the ministry’s plan to attract a total of 70,000 foreign students to Jordanian universities by 2020, Higher Education Minister Adel Tweisi said on a press statement on Tuesday. 
“The rise in the number of foreign students comes as a result of the great efforts undertaken by the ministry, and the Directorate of International Student Affairs in particular,” the minister stated. 
“We contacted embassies and other official bodies outside the Kingdom to inform them about the higher education opportunities in Jordan,” Tameemi explained, noting that in addition, a social media campaign was run by the ministry to reach the students directly.
“Several mechanisms were put in place to facilitate the experience of the students,” Tameemi continued, stressing that “the directorate’s purpose was to enhance the students’ stay in Jordan both at the academic and the personal levels”.
When asked about the factors that attract foreigners to study in the Kingdom, Tameemi noted that “all embassies agreed that when it comes to the region, they prefer Jordan due to its quality in higher education”, highlighting that “Jordanian universities are well equipped, their staff counts with international degrees and master’s, and the curricula is updated to match that of universities abroad”.
Jordan Rowson-Jones, a student who moved to the Kingdom to study Arabic through a partner programme with the University of Oxford, told The Jordan Times that he chose this experience because “Jordan is such a melting pot of different cultural and religious experiences and backgrounds due to the sheer number of refugees that have made Jordan their home.”
“Considering that one of my academic interests is the Arab-Israeli conflict, here is a good place to immerse oneself in the Palestinian viewpoint regarding the conflict,” the student added. 
When asked about his experience in the country, Rowson-Jones expressed that “the people here are incredibly friendly and helpful, and although there is a bit of culture shock, it’s not so bad once you’ve settled in”.
The experience was also positive for Martina Bianchi, a Middle Eastern Politics exchange student at the University of Jordan. 
“Ever since I arrived to Jordan every local has been so welcoming,” the student said, pointing out “the readiness of the staff at the university and my mentors at class”.
“I chose Jordan because I wanted to be in place where I can study the situation of the region and still remain safe,” Bianchi said, labelling her experience in the Kingdom as a “turning point” in her career. 
Jordan Times
January 11, 2018