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JEA raises concerns about oversaturation in engineering field

Associaton demands increasing averages required for admission

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Sep 12,2019 - Last updated at Sep 12,2019

AMMAN — The number of engineers in the Kingdom has reached 164,000, which the Jordanian Engineers Association (JEA) considers a very large number, indicating the oversaturation of engineering majors at Jordanian universities.

At present, there are an additional 50,000 to 60,000 engineering students around the Kingdom, JEA Secretary General Mohammad Abu Afifah told The Jordan Times on Thursday, noting that the association sent a memo to the Higher Education Minister Walid Maani on the subject.

In the memo, the JEA demanded increasing the averages required for admission into engineering majors as one of the means to control the large numbers of students and graduates, especially in light of the lesser opportunities available for them compared to other majors.

"There are around 10,000 Jordanian students who did not even achieve the necessary average to study engineering in the Kingdom, but are still studying engineering abroad, and the government's policies led to this oversaturation," Abu Afifah said, highlighting a shift in the higher education system.

Abu Afifah pointed out that Jordanians used to go to Gulf countries to work in engineering field and that currently, due to the economic conditions and wanting to rely on their own graduates, Gulf countries are not attracting as many engineers as before, and the same applies to Iraq, Syria, Yemen and other areas of conflict with limited opportunities.

He also said that “the government is the biggest bringer of engineering projects, but is unable to do so now, so engineers cannot find any opportunities, which means control is required from the level of transitioning from school to higher education”.

Therefore, the secretary general said, the JEA also demands to end bridge programmes that allow students graduated from community colleges to become engineers.

These are applied in countries that lack engineers, he said, but Jordan needs technicians and others who can act as “mediators” between engineers and untrained workers.

Abu Afifah said that education inputs fail to produce candidates with practical experience, as universities focus on academics.

He said that the JEA has presented its concerns to the education minister, the Higher Education Council and other concerned entities, with the aim of controlling the numbers of students and graduates all over the Kingdom.

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