The Market, Universities, and the Unemployed Graduate - Fahed Khitan

Al-Hussein technology university

Neither the skyrocketing figures of unemployment help, nor the repetitive warnings against enrolling for dead majors.

As no less than 35 thousand Tawjihi graduates, yesterday, have begun applying to universities, more than half of them will enrol in majors the market is saturated with.

More so, thousands will enrol in the parallel undergrad education programmes, which cost fortunes. And those who do not land a seat at any of the public universities will head for private ones.

The result of this chaos is: at least 80 per cent of the Tawjihi graduates will go to university.

Such a phenomenon happens nowhere else around the world. Some of the world’s best universities, in Europe and the US, do not have half the number of universities currently attending at the University of Jordan (JU).

Look at the catastrophic outcomes of this in Jordan.

Decades of this have led to thousands of jobless university graduates, a deteriorating academic performance, and an even worse output.

Universities are drowning in debt. On top of the weight of so many students, there countless employees with nothing to do. Not to mention the drop in education quality and the adequacy of instructors.

For years now the academia in Jordan has been tolling the bells of warning, next to many strategy experts calling for reforming and rehabilitating university education.

So many have spoken out against the decay of our education, but nothing has changed.

The same issues endure, year after another, and not a single thing is being done about it.

I read our colleague’s interview, at AlGhad, with the president of Al-Hussein Technical University, Dr Labib Khadra, yesterday, Monday, with, Taysir Nuaim. Dr Kharda said

 

tat even though the University’s capacity is 1,000 students, it will only take 300 this year.

More importantly, the University’s teaching philosophy greatly incorporates hands-on programmes to support the education process. It has a practical course to parallel every theoretical course, in majors the Jordanian economy and market really crave.

The university offers diploma and bachelour degree programs in the fields of applied engineering. Two diploma programmes, 27 and 120 credit hours, and a bachelour’s programme.

A students’ third year will be entirely focused on hands-on expertise from working at factories and related work environments.

Interestingly, a quarter of the curriculum is based on developing competitive skills among the students, for the marketplace, with a second focus on building command of the English language.

This helps students who wish to peruse higher education overseas at any of the sister-universities the Prince Hussein University has signed agreements with.

Indeed, the Hussein Technical University is a model institution to guide the rest of the sector, and society. It’s philosophy matches those of the German-Jordanian University and the Princess Sumaya University, and may even prove itself better than both of them.

Such an education model will help build a path for our future, to meet the economy’s needs and drive the nation forward.

Needless to say, this will drastically help restore the prestige of our human resource.

We need dozens of universities like the Prince Hussein University, modern and versatile, with the graduate quality students in needed majors, instead of the standing saturation.

By this, I do not mean new universities.

In fact, what I mean is that we need to restructure our universities and best equip them to serve this purpose, in order to overcome the annual catastrophe of excess in saturated specialty fields and majors.

Of course, this goes hand in hand with revolutionary education methods and environments, which do not add to the piles upon piles of unemployed graduates.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.