Wednesday, 6 August 2008

The University of Jordan: A Different Overview

"Jordan University is the best University in Jordan"

i will argue against this by underlining that Jordan University is the Largest, the First but surly not the best, i will try to state my reasons;

1 - The Problem of Administration and Numbers:

some Figures from the academic year 2005/2006:

Enrolled Students: 35,546
Academic Staff: 1177
Administrative Staff: 2578
Graduates: 7325
Operating Budget: 80,808,000 Dinars
Allocated Budget for Research: 650,000 Dinars
Published Books: 7 !!!
Apparently the numbers are saying something, the question that comes to my mind is who among the 3755 staff members cares about one student's academic performance or ever asked about his/her collective academic work over the course of the study years? what i noticed is that as long as i am enrolled, paying the tuition, my GPA is above 2, whatever I'm doing is irrelevant to any worker in this place. nobody cares, which leaves me with a question that begs itself to be asked, how does the university measure its success? what are the parameters ? will the vision differ with the next university president? should we rely on the GPA distribution to tell? or should we ask future employers about the fresh grads performance? this is kept for a later post to be discussed.

Important note ; does the Administrative staff set any goals to be achieved by the Academic staff through the students? i guess each has different interests!

The administrative staff cares to run the process / to manage 35000 student, so a student is reduced to a number in a process that has lots of holes, while the academic staff is limited with department budgets, and overwhelmed by procedures that need to be taken in order to break the ingrained bureaucracy in the system, i believe there is a communication failure due to the overwhelming amount of paper work and official letters needed to get anything approved, i don't think that the university is understaffed but it has absurd protocols between academic faculty staff/academic administrative faculty staff/central administrative units/deanship of student affairs and the president office. i think they should get facebooked!!

I hope you drew a picture by now, now lets zoom in for a bit, here are the figures for the faculty of engineering and technology student distribution;

BSc Scholars of Fall 06/07 Civil Architecture Electrical Mechanical Chemical Industrial Computer Mechatronics
1st year female 44 139 20 10 71 78 79 23
2nd year female
52 111 19 7 58 78 79 17
3rd year female
58 98 15 2 53 59 44 13
4th year female
53 88 12 3 61 54 31 13
5th year femlae
39 72 6 3 37 47 24 9
male students from all years 560 192 604 451 94 357 412 479
female total 246 508 72 25 280 316 257 75
department total 806 700 676 476 374 673 669 554
female ratio % 30.52 72.57 10.65 5.25 74.87 46.95 38.42 13.54

BSc Scholars of Fall 06/07 Chemical Industrial Computer Mechatrnics
1st year female 71 78 79 23
2nd year female
58 78 79 17
3rd year female
53 59 44 13
4th year female 61 54 31 13
5th year female 37 47 24 9
male students from all years 94 357 412 479
female total 280 316 257 75
epartment total 374 673 669 554
female Ratio % 74.87 46.95 38.42 13.54

The total number of students is approximately 5000 students, distributed on 8 departments where a department is responsible for 400 - 800 students! every department has its cleaning staff, secretary, chairperson, technicians, labs, inventory, technicians and running all this is part of the faculty management and not the central management, it is overwhelming in a way!

I think that the management in the faculties need to be re examined so staff members can have more free time to spend it working with the students and not in their offices, create a less complicated protocols between units, so faculties can have "a culture", "a life" , " an academic orientation towards clear goals" , without needing this bulk of entities that need to be informed to get it moving. real content and real work.

to be continued..


Hareega said...

They rely on how old the university is, which actually counts aalways as a factor, also how its graduates are doing.

Tala said...

Hareega, UJ being there since 66 has its pros, graduates status after graduation is not measurable as far as i know. the university won't take an action unless there is a strategic need for change or a complaint. believe me on this one.

Asal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Asal said...

Measure of success ,
I think UJ is intentionally ignoring having such a measure , cuz i am pretty sure if we had one,UJ will suck bad time,actually if you have a little chat with a some average students @ UJ you will notice how students here aren't getting the feeling that this does really matter,they don't even believe in the importance or even the effect of the quality of education they are are getting on their future,most of them deal with this as a way to get the piece of paper they should have.

Frankly,i don't blame them to think this way , it is just like you said,no one even cares about what are they doing , pay for your tuition and keep it over 2 (which is not pretty hard btw)and you are the perfect student,actually the best way for student to get some attention from this "academic institution" is to drop GPA below 2 ,other wise,keep walking my friend !!!!

Azzam said...

when you give control of a once fine Jordanian academic institution to retards what do you expect? let's face it, during the late king hussain's reigen, Jordan was on the rise. this is not longer the case. now jordan is being run like an investment portfoli and progress is measured in the prosperity of those who manage this portfopli. cheap slogans aside, this is the most unpatriotic "elite" that ever governed Jordan. just look at the developmental indicators. while criminally incompetents like Salah Gallab still speak of investment and commerce, all the while academician, health, corruption, and other human development indicators are falling.

khouloud said...

Stundents' academic levels are measured with their scores on competency tests, that's for one. The following is copied and pasted:

تصنَّف نتائج " امتحان الكفاءة الجامعية" على خمسة مستويات كما يلي :

1. مستوى الطالب بالنسبة لأقرانه في نفس الجامعة.

2. مستوى الطالب بالنسبة لأقرانه في نفس التخصص في الجامعات الأردنية الأخرى.

3. مستوى الطالب بالنسبة لأقرانه في نفس التخصص في الجامعات على مستوى العالم.

4. مستوى الجامعة بالنسبة للجامعات الأردنية .

5. مستوى الجامعة بالنسبة لجامعات العالم ككل.

JU has been getting the highest scores among all Jordanian and Arabic universities.

There are a lot of devoted intellectuals working in this specific university, students who seak more than just to get a GPA of 2 (Ana mish minhom) manage to excel in university and what is after because JU and it's staff have a lot to offer but it can't be forced upon students, for example, JU has the largest library and offers a lot of different activities, I can safely speak for the students of my faculty when I say that our professors care, a lot at times, but they do, and they bigazzizou il wa7ad at the first sign of interest in Law.
Anyway, your posts are always a good read because of your objectivity and the fact that you discuss very important issues and offer solutions, unlike Azzam and the likes of him who jump at every opportunity to turn this into a "lets bash Jordan and the king indirectly" sleepover.

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Tala said...


"this is a piece of paper one should have attitude" so real and so true, its sad, the focus is on GPA scoring without knowledge and minimal work possible, the end result is high grades, bad engineers, with few exceptions, there is a huge disconnect between what we are supposed to learn, what teachers teach, what we actually learn, and what going out to work require us to have knowledge of.


I joined JU in 2002, since then lots of things got improved that were irritating, such as getting wireless internet access covering most of the uni, removing manual semester registration with a home access registration system, longer library working hours (10 pm), fixing main under-tunnels which was a misery, allowing "a little bit" of room for technical voluntary student work but its very stiff and limited, no allowed political work watsoever, as for the investments part, true, at some point, it happened, past 2001 when the parallel program got open, there was a sharp increase in student numbers and student quality and worsening teachers quality, a rise in tuition, no personal revenue other than making the uni mostly better looking , new complexes got built like the IT faculty, facility, the new financial department complex, the arts faculty, the language center, the UN university ( i dont know if its part of JU/Budget) new shops complex towards the humanitarian faculties and there are more coming i guess

again, there are stuff getting improved, mostly administrative, eye friendly and human convenient, but academically, nope; not much change, no REAL technology integration, no analysis, no research that goes beyond google for BSc BA students, no discussions or academic activities that are course related / political correctness oriented , anything thought enhancing that is knowledge, pure deep knowledge, not for grades, not for politics. what i want to say that a university can't work with PR driven initiatives were money is jotted in one place and you expect creativity to boom, it works in small groups, a Dr - student relationship and a vision. when both sides want to do something, its about il wa7ad ykoon 3am bibnee ishi, mish mawjood w beeji 3al fadi w bisof 7adi bikhalles hal course inno wallah ana bil urdonieh!. students don't to be molded solely for market needs, they need to enjoy working on something @ school, experience learning, As for who is in uni's administration, I really don't care, I'm seeking that who is in position to fulfill his/her duties and maybe pointing it out would help, there are good people, be positive.


There are great teachers, and there are great teachers leaving JU as well, and there are teachers who refuse to leave JU though there is a sticker on their foreheads that says " ana Dr 7maaaar w ma biseer adarres "
JU has unused potential and another wasted potential . students are to blame too, true, but the important thing to focus is "why are they so careless" ???

JU is the most important place in Jordan, even more important than the Jordanian parliament, but i believe that the need of control is what gave it the print of lets keep the kids dumb. we dont need thinkers, we dont need rebels, the way its administrated made it this way. thats why studying elsewhere is more knowledge-oriented.

imti7an il kafa2a for me was the cherry on top. will speak of it in the coming post, you will see the result file for my department 3ashan ted7aki

khouloud said...

Hehehe tayyeb waiting, as for your question about why are students careless, well, for many reasons, some of which revolve around thaqafet il 3aib, every parent wants their kid to study Med., Eng. or law, other students decide on what they want to study based on the faculty il afya3, others base their decision over the faculty their other friends get accepted in and the rest just look for majors they can easily pass, ya3ni bikoun youmo aswad illi naje7 tawjihi w be7ki la abouh biddi adros riyada aw adkhol ma3had museeqa aw biddi adros falsafeh for instance, when applying to the university w bi my first application, my first choice of major was philosophy and my parents freaked out, FALSAFEH!! INTI NA2SEK!! Then I tore that application and filled a new one, my first choice was psychology and my parents freaked out again, they didn't tell me not to study that unlike other parents but they were disappointed, I wanted to study Journalism bas mu mawjoudeh bil JU, so I finally asked them, shu bidkom adros? I'm lost now! 7akali abouy baba aish ma biddek, ana wala 3omri batdakhal bi shu 7ada min wladi biddo yodros :D I finally decided on majoring in Law, which was the biggest mistake I ever made and even though I was an A student my whole life I'm barely passing courses now, and it doesn't bother me, ya3ni I became careless, my parents kept telling me to switch majors, adros ayya ishi biddi iyyah 7atta law falsafeh after takhbeesi bil 7uqouq but a university student reaches a point where he just wants to graduate, that stage is uaually on the second year, so that's it, students need help when deciding on what they want to study because having kids study things they're passionate about is what determines their level of interest an thus success in it.

Tala said...

Khouloud, thanks for sharing your story, mine is close to yours, I signed up for FET because back then math and physics were my favorite subjects, I like to assemble stuff and build but I discovered that I don't like motors, pumps, cylinders, sensors and interfacing, I was not fascinated with LEDS and transistors or technical manuals and control classes, I didnt know that the whole major was about 2 classes i take in my 4 th year, I lost interest in it somewhere in my 3rd year, it was bad, I hated how everything was done in JU