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: 2022-01-23

Overview

The U.S. 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 research, and engagement with academic advising agencies. While the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the education sector, Jordanian students continue to study at institutions of higher learning in the United States.  According to Open Doors, 2,441 students from Jordan studied in the United States in 2019/2020, which reflected a 0.2 percent change from the prior year.   946 Jordanian students were undergraduates and 1,025 were graduate students, with 122 non-degree and 346 OPT students. UNESCO indicates that the United States is the second leading destination country for Jordanian students after Saudi Arabia.

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. 

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 TOFEL, 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.

e-Learning Technologies and Services:  Despite the considerable efforts to make Jordan a tech hub, the level of e-learning adoption in Jordan’s higher education system did not exceed 12 percent in 2019. However, in March 2020, the percentage jumped from 12 percent to 100percent, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Jordan prepares to recover from the pandemic, the country is looking to integrate e-learning in a more structured way as part of the institutional infrastructure.

Partnering with Jordanian Universities on Undergraduate and Postgraduate Education: U.S. universities can forge partnership agreements with local universities to deliver their world-class academic programs. U.S. universities may also consider entering the Jordanian education market via a partnership with local schools on student exchange programs or joint-degree programs.

New Schools Project: There are around 143,000 Syrian students receiving education in Jordanian schools, which has strained the education system. The Jordanian government is planning to build 600 schools in Amman, Zarqa and Irbid under the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) structure. The initial phase will deliver 15 pilot elementary and secondary schools, followed by the rest of the project over the next decade. 

Resources

  • Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
  • AMIDEAST Jordan
  • Education Jordan is 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