Al Khadra: Al Hussein Technical University A Milestone in Technical Education
Al Khadra: Al Hussein Technical University A Milestone in Technical Education
4 May 2017
Amman May 4th, 2017 - The President of Al Hussein Technical University (HTU), Dr. Labib Al Khadra, announced that the University is in its final stages of accepting the first class for the 2017-18 academic year. Dr. Al Khadra highlighted the University’s distinguished attributes as an institution of higher learning whose founding marks a "milestone" in technical education. Built on four integrated tracks, HTU has crafted its focus on a style of teaching based on the student’s vision. Its facilities will be complete by the beginning of next July, and technical equipment will be available by the end of September, after which the University will announce when doors will open for admitted students.
The University will be equipped to accommodate 1000 students. However, it is only looking to accept 300 students into its first class—150 into both the intermediate university certificate and bachelor’s programs.
The University’s programs center around internationally recognized topics in STEM education focused in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. According to Dr. Al Khadra, the university’s framework establishes the foundation for programs in energy systems, mechanical, electrical, agricultural and civil engineering, as well as in computer science and information technology. A quarter of all curricula will focus on building competitive skills needed in today’s labor market, and Pearson—a British multinational education company—will help the University oversee all processes for preparing its programs, curricula and quality of education.
Dr. Al Khadra also pointed out that the University’s initial programs and specializations will be structured through a general lens, but will be subject to evaluation and review based on labor market needs and feedback from factories and companies in response to sector developments. This process for developing the University’s course materials and content will help faculty and administration overcome bureaucratic impediments on students’ intellectual growth and keep the HTU community up-to-date with today’s latest innovations in STEM education.
The First Track (2+1)
As explained by Dr. Al Khadra, the University’s first track lays out the intermediate university certificate program (2+1). Students on this track spend their first two years studying on the HTU campus and their third year working in a factory. After acquiring their certificate, students will continue working in the same factories in which they completed their training once the University reaches an agreement with these factories. Program graduates can go on to pursue a bachelor's degree in their field of specialization if they are admitted to the university directly. Alternatively, if a student wishes to attend a British university, s/he must study for a year to receive a bachelor's degree. If a student wishes to attend another Jordanian university, s/he must take a “comprehensive” exam to receive an Intermediate University Degree accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education.
The program focuses on providing students the required technical information and skills needed in local and international markets. The University will offer specialized and non-recurrent technical programs, including but not limited to: metallurgy, electrical engineering, renewable energy, network security, electronics, automation, electrical circuit design and architecture (creation and planning), in addition to other specializations in machinery operation, welding, graphic design and animation design.
Dr. Al Khadra went on to describe the University’s second track (2 + 2), which lays out applied programs that will grant bachelor's degrees to students according to their curricula and intensive studies in science, mathematics, technology and engineering during their first and second years. During their third and fourth years, students will focus their studies in their specialization with the opportunity to study abroad at one of HTU’s sister schools in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe through the University’s agreements with select universities in these areas.
The University’s programs within the applied studies track include: automation and applied research, electrical and energy systems (electrical engineering), automotive engineering and production (mechanical engineering), construction technology (urban engineering), network security and protection, as well as smart systems and internet data processing.
Dr. Al Khadra ensured that the University will not complete the process of selecting these specializations in a single step, but rather will do so based on a multi-step evaluation of their significance in today’s economy and their relationship to advanced industries in the fields of computers and electrical energy systems, after which the remaining areas of specialization will be selected based on accurate, in-depth studies of local and regional market
A close relationship exists between the first and second tracks. During their first year students in both tracks will study together
The third track focuses on students’ professional development, community participation and awareness through a specialized program for university graduates with engineering degrees whose materials are based on the needs and requirements of specific areas within today’s labor market. Upon completing this program, graduates will possess the skills to overcome competitive challenges and create jobs within today’s engineering fields.
Dr. Al Khadra said the University will provide this track for two purposes. The track’s first purpose will be to provide intensive rehabilitation programs for both unemployed and employed university graduates. The programs will last six months and include intensive courses in English and communication skills, as well as professional courses.
The second purpose of this track will be to motivate young adults to participate and interact with modern technology. The University will develop partnerships with secondary schools to establish modern laboratories in which older students develop their tech skills as part of their studies and are encouraged to register for tech courses. The University will also strengthen their ongoing relationships with local communities to improve education in STEM fields, and build their relationship with the media to raise awareness of the (HTU) community. Al Khadra elaborated on the program’s efforts to develop students’ language and communication skills and strengthen their capabilities in specialized fields. With four months of intensive courses in engineering sciences and access to resources in four laboratories, program graduates will gain the expertise to benefit from more employment opportunities in their respective fields.
In addition to their outreach programs, the University will open and support laboratories that devote certain days of the week to train primary and secondary school students how to operate laboratories and lab technology. Opening these doors to youth will enhance young minds’ tech skills as well as their schools’ tech culture.
Pioneering Labs and Adopting Ideas
Dr. Al Khadra defined the fourth track as the University’s opportunity to establish pioneering laboratories and adopt new ideas in engineering fields. The University’s laboratories and workshops will allow students to develop their skills in creativity and innovation, as well as their knowledge of intellectual property and industrial production.
He explained how this track aims to raise people’s awareness of today’s latest technologies and motivate them to participate in creative business management, apply their skills and maximize their potential so they may transform their ideas into successful projects. The University will establish a specialized center that aims to promote a culture of creativity and spread economic awareness among students, thereby encouraging them to participate in private businesses and employ their skills commercially. Training programs will also guide students to apply their knowledge and energy to create and invest in rewarding jobs.
The center will not grant science degrees, but rather incorporate specialized materials into curricula to teach creativity and entrepreneurship, as well as train talented students. These students will be introduced to groundbreaking works and their innovations with access to modern equipment for scientific research. Trainees who are granted this opportunity will gain easy access to computer resources and data files as well.
Dr. Al Khadra revealed a number of agreements with companies, factories and the Chamber of Industry signed by the University to identify the human and technical resources needed to achieve a sense of synergy and collaboration within the center. In regards to tuition fees, Dr. Al Khadra stated that the Board of Trustees is still assessing the costs of tuition fees. He stressed that costs for individual students will vary depending on their financial situations, as the University will seek to educate students from every socioeconomic background.
The Crown Prince Foundation’s law grants the Foundation the right to own a technical university that offers bachelor's and intermediate university level degrees and administers them through a pedagogy designed for these degrees—despite what is stated in any other legislation.
Al Hussein Technical University was established in accordance with the Crown Prince Foundation Law No. 37 of 2015 as a not for profit university for technical education under the direction and vision of HRH the Crown Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II. The Crown Prince’s support and sponsorship of this project came as part of His Highness's efforts to empower Jordan’s youth and enhance their intellectual and practical capabilities in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). His Highness aims to provide youth with suitable job opportunities and enable their active participation in Jordan’s economic and social development by providing a high-quality and practical technical education—an education whose unique disciplines remain relevant to today’s latest scientific developments and meet the needs of both local and regional industries.