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Students welcome reduction of admission scores to four public universities

Rights body says decision will affect quality of education

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Feb 24,2018 - Last updated at Feb 24,2018

Main entrance of Al al-Bayt University in Mafraq, some 80 kilometres northeast of Amman (Photo courtesy of Al al-Bayt University Facebook page)

AMMAN — The Higher Education Council's recent decision to allow students with 60 to 64.9 per cent Tawjihi score to enroll under the parallel programme at four public universities has been welcomed by students but received with reservation by students' rights body.

 The Higher Education Council has recently approved the admission of students with a score ranging from 60 to 64.9 per cent in the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination (Tawjihi) in the universities of Mutah, Al al- Bayt, Al Hussein Bin Talal and Tafila under the parallel programme. 

Officials have said that the decision aimed at encouraging students to study in these four universities they described as "non-attractive" institutions. 

The National Campaign for Students' Rights (Thabahtoona) on Thursday voiced concerns over the new decision, claiming that “it proves that the economic and financial means are the driving force behind all higher education policies”. 

“This decision does not provide any real development for our universities,” Thabahtoona coordinator Fakher Daas told The Jordan Times in a recent interview, noting that “this agreement will reduce the quality of education leading to the deterioration of these universities”.

In this regard, Daas pointed out that “the Higher Education Council has claimed to be attempting to raise the level of these universities,” adding that “dropping the admissions minimum score will only harm the level of the targeted universities, and it is clear that the only reason behind such decision is the opportunity to collect more money in tuition fees”.

However, the decision has been welcomed by several high school students as “an opportunity to keep on pursuing goals even if the results end up being worse than expected”. 

“My objective is to get into the University of Jordan when I finish high school, but I have a lot of pressure on me and I really don’t know what will happen if I don’t get the score I need,” a student named Farah told The Jordan Times, adding that “this decision is reassuring because I know I will still have a chance to get into the university if things don’t go as planned”. 

“The universities in which the Ministry has dropped the admission rates are not really the ones I am aiming to get in, but it is just good to know that I will still have a chance,” said high school student Ammar Awad, noting that “the change in the admission rate is not really as significant as it could be, but it can make a difference for some of us [students].”

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