‘Minimum grade for Arab students’ admission reduced’

[30-06-2013 03:56 PM]

Ammon News - by Khetam Malkawi/ Jordan Times

AMMAN — The Higher Education Council (HEC) has reduced the minimum university admission average for non-Jordanian students to attract more students from Arab countries, a senior official said on Saturday.

Minister of Higher Education Amin Mahmoud added that the admission average will be flexible.

He noted that if an Arab student applies to one of the Kingdom’s universities with a high school average that is one to three grades less than the minimum average required for admission to that subject, the student might still be accepted depending on seat availability.

Mahmoud said the decision was taken based on a request by several Arab embassies in Jordan.

“Some Arab students who study in Egypt or Syria want to transfer to universities in Jordan, and we will give them this opportunity,” the minister told The Jordan Times, adding that if a student goes below the minimum achievement requirements during the first year, he/she would be dismissed.

He said the grade flexibility will not apply to medical, dentistry and pharmacology studies.

There are 35,000 Arab students currently studying in the Kingdom’s universities and they contribute JD500,000 to the economy, according to Mahmoud.

Although accepting more Arab students at Jordanian universities might benefit the country’s economy, the decision was taken without consulting universities, according to Ekhleif Tarawneh, president of the University of Jordan.

“It would have been better if the HEC agreed on a specific minimum average for admitting non-Jordanian students in each subject, rather leaving it open,” Tarawneh told The Jordan Times.

In addition, each university allocates a certain number of seats for non-Jordanian students annually and accepts students based on available seats, he explained.

Meanwhile, the HEC has amended laws governing the Kingdom’s universities, granting campus security more authority to deal with any violent incidents.

Mahmoud Khalaileh, the HEC media consultant, said the amendments will allow security personnel to enforce laws and arrest whoever violates regulations in a bid to prevent the recurrence of campus violence.

Khalaileh added that the amendments also include publishing the names of students involved in riots at universities in local newspapers, in addition to addressing the Civil Service Bureau to reject applications from graduates who participated in campus violence.

The amendments will be sent to the Legislation and Opinion Bureau for review soon, he noted.

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