Jordan - Country Commercial Guide
Education

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-12-14

Capital:  Amman

Population:  10.9 million (July 2021 est.)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):  $100.16 billion (2020 est., in 2017 dollars)

Currency:  Jordanian dinar (JOD)

Language:  Arabic (official), English (widely understood among upper and middle classes)

UNESCO Student Mobility Number

Jordan has 27,930 students studying abroad according to UNESCO.

CIA World Factbook

52.82% of the population in Jordan is under 25 years old.

Overview

The United States has a strong reputation for higher education among Jordanian students, and there are opportunities for increased collaboration between the U.S. and Jordanian higher education sectors, through student recruitment, exchange programs, and engagement with academic advising agencies. While the U.S. is top choice for Jordanians, UNESCO indicates that the United States is the second leading destination country for Jordanian students (after Saudi Arabia).  According to Open Doors, 2,426 students from Jordan studied in the United States in 2022, an increase of 3.8 percent from the prior year.   887 Jordanian students were undergraduates and 1,035 were graduate students, with only 64 non-degree and 352 OPT students.

Jordan offers free education to all citizens in public schools, which is compulsory up to the age of 16, and boasts a high adult literacy rate of 98%.  The education system is comprised of two years of preschool education, followed by 10 years of compulsory basic education, and two years of secondary education (academic or vocational).  Only the academic stream qualifies students for entrance to universities, whereas the vocational stream qualifies students for entrance to community colleges.  In the public system, while Arabic is the language of instruction, English is a mandatory course for 10 years.   In the private system, English is often the language of instruction and is widely understood among upper and middle classes.

Jordanian students complete one of the following high school programs:

  • Tawjihi (General Secondary Examination) offered in the majority of schools
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) offered in a very limited number of private schools
  • International General Certification of Secondary Education (IGCSE) offered in some private schools
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) offered only in some private schools
  • Advanced placement (AP) is offered in a small number of private schools

Standardized undergraduate admissions testing for U.S. and international academic institutions is available in-country the TOEFL, IELTTS, SAT, and ACT. 

U.S. academic institutions seeking partnerships with Jordanian colleges and universities will find interest. Since the establishment of the University of Jordan in 1962, the country has witnessed a significant increase in newly established universities, making Jordan one of the fastest-growing education sectors in the Middle East. Jordan has 10 public universities, 17 private universities, and 51 community colleges. With rapid population growth, the number of enrolled students has tripled in the last twenty years from 110,000 in 2000 to over 300,000 today, accounting for almost 4.6 percent of the Jordanian population, which is also the highest population percentage of the higher education enrolment in the region. Furthermore, the higher education system is witnessing unprecedented demand from international students.

Opportunities

It is recommended that U.S. universities and colleges interested in attracting students from Jordan develop strategies to build partnerships with Jordanian universities, educational institutions, and student recruitment agencies. The Commercial Service is positioned to organize promotional events and facilitate introductions to relevant contacts.  Additionally, U.S. academic institutions should be aware of EducationUSA events organized through the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section that include monthly webinars, pre-departure orientations, outreach to American Corners and programming during International Education Week.

Resources

  • Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
  • AMIDEAST Jordan
  • Education Jordan - based in the U.S. Embassy, Amman
  • UNESCO
  • Jordanian American Commission for Educational Exchange (JACEE) (aka The Binational Fulbright Commission in Jordan)
  • Open Doors

For additional information, please contact U.S Commercial Service - Jordan at office.amman@trade.gov