MP calls for absorbing Jordanian students fleeing Ukraine in local universities

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A Jordanian family embraces their son after his safe return from Ukraine through Romania on March 2, 2022. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — A large number of university students who were studying in Ukraine have lost a significant part of their educational journey as a result of the dangerous global conditions created by the Russian-Ukrainian war.اضافة اعلان

Many lost contact with their universities, and all are unsure how long the uncertain situation will last. MP Bilal Al Momani urged the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to accept these students at their current educational levels, without excluding any of them.

Some 700 Jordanians were studying in Ukraine when the war started, a figure Momani believes can be absorbed by Jordanian universities.

“This demand is what logic says, and for one reason: these students are our sons,” Momani said, adding that “whether the students’ return is positive or negative, they will eventually return to Jordan, and since the war does not appear to be ending anytime soon, there are no better options than enrolling them in universities in their mother country at their exact educational levels without having to re-evaluate them.”

Momani said that in Ukraine, the next semester begins on April 1, so a decision must be made before that date “so that students can return to school without wasting any additional time”.

He stressed that Jordanian universities are able to accommodate these students, which study for various specialties, adding that although the number of medical students outnumbers the number of students in other specialties, Jordanian universities can distribute the students among them with ease, “especially since a large part of them completed more than half of their school years”.

There may be an issue with the language, said Momani, who believes that it may be difficult for students who have completed many years of study in Russian to enroll for their majors using the English language.

He went on to say that Jordanian Honorary Consul in Hungary Zaid Naffa offered these students the chance to finish their studies in Hungary, at the same educational levels, but the language barrier seems to be an issue in this situation as well.

According to Momani, transferring students to Hungary is only a theoretical solution, “due to a fact that most people overlook”, which is that some Jordanian students who traveled under the student exchange agreement reached by the two countries encountered significant language difficulties, with a large number returning to Jordan before finishing their studies.

The Ministry of Higher Education’s media spokesman Muhannad Al-Khatib told Jordan News that all the returning students may visit Jordanian universities and enroll if found to meet the universities requirements, adding that universities have specific guidelines with which the government never interferes.

He added that Jordanian students in Ukraine were distributed across dozens of universities and that it is impossible to apply a single system for them to enroll in Jordanian universities, particularly when it comes to calculating the subjects studied and assessing the students’ levels.

Khatib said that the ministry told all these students about the possibility of taking an exam that defines their level, after which, depending on their test results, they can apply to Jordanian universities and continue their education.

Furthermore, the ministry recommended that students look for foreign universities that follow the Ukrainian education system so that they can benefit the most without having to worry about language or losing topics/subjects they have already taken.

Khatib commended the Hungarian offer to Jordanian students, and highlighted the fact that the educational system there is largely identical to that in Ukraine, which would save students time that would be lost in Jordan due to differences between the two educational systems.

Former minister of higher education Walid Al-Maani told Jordan News that allowing returning Jordanian students into Jordanian universities at the level of education at which they arrived without having them do a test that determines their abilities “is totally unfair”, adding that the Jordanian education level and strength must be maintained.

According to Maani, the first prerequisite for receiving students at Jordanian universities is to pass an assessment exam that has been in effect in Jordan for 10 years. The second condition is that a student should have studied at university for at least two full years, as the Jordanian Universities Law states that no university can award an educational degree to a student who has not attended for two academic years.

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