The newly established Al Hussein Technical University (HTU) has started its second year with a “different roadmap” aimed at matching the skills of its graduates with the current needs of the Jordanian labour market, HTU President Labib Khadra said on Wednesday.
The university is one of the initiatives of the Crown Prince Foundation (CPF) to support Jordanians youth’s pursuit of vocational, technical and applied education, according to the foundation's website.
Khadra’s announcement came during a press conference held at the university’s headquarters, where the academics briefed representatives of the media and stakeholders on HTU’s plans to enhance the employability of higher education graduates with a “new educational model that focuses on the practical aspect”, in addition to the development of the students’ abilities in English and their own personal skills.
The gap between the specialisations currently offered by the higher education system and the actual needs of the Jordanian labour market was addressed earlier this year by the Higher Education Council (HEC) through the admission policies set for upcoming academic year, which “take into account the current absorptive capacity of the labour market per each specialty based on the decision ratified by HEC to reduce the percentage of students in specialties with no labour demand”, Higher Education Minister Adel Tweisi said.
“Up to this point, we have been able to reduce the number of students in the targeted specialties by 30 per cent,” the minister said in April, explaining that “the objective is now to increase the number of students enrolled in technical specialties, as the labour demand is witnessing a continued increase in this field”.
“The students newly enrolled in HTU will follow study plans designed according to international academic standards and in partnership with prestigious universities from the UK and France,” Khadra said during the conference, stressing that “the university has made sure that its plans are flexible, dynamic and adaptable in order to meet the changing labour market requirements — especially in the fields of engineering and software”.
Commenting on HTU’s achievements in its first year, the university president noted that the number of students enrolled in the different programmes stood at 220, expressing his expectations for the number to increase this year “in light of the university’s focus on maintaining the quality of the students and their abilities”.
The academic also noted that the university has established a training and career development programme designed for newly graduated students, in addition to courses and training programmes for engineers looking for employment.
In line with its policy towards employment, the university signed a cooperation agreement with the Jordanian Engineers Association (JEA) earlier this month, which sought to enhance cooperation in the field of professional and academic engineering development and increase the competitiveness of the engineering sector in the Kingdom.
Under the agreement, the two parties will coordinate efforts to follow up on programmes and hold scientific days, lectures and training courses, working jointly on the axes of engineering qualification and leadership.
Dean of the Faculty of Technological Engineering Amjad Al Fahoum presented the university's specialisations and features of the educational model, noting that the university partnered with the British Accreditation Foundation (Pearson) to ensure the quality of its programmes in engineering and computer science.
As a result, the university has recently obtained the BTEC Level 5 High National Diploma accreditation from Pearson in the areas of Network Engineering, Software Engineering, Data Analytics, Security, Intelligent Systems and Applications Development.