Al-Ahliyya Amman University (AAU): preparing students to be competitive in the labor market.
A Q&A interview with Prof. Sadeq A. Hamed, President of Al-Ahliyya Amman University about how they manage to prepare the students properly.
There has been talk about a disconnect between the degrees that Jordanian students are getting and jobs that are available. How is Al Ahliyya Amman University tackling this issue by making sure students are studying the specialties needed for the market demand?
AAU offers quality academic specialties to meet the needs of the local and regional labor market. For instance, AAU “Al Ahliyya Amman University” offers more than 36 programs, many of them are not offered by any other university in Jordan and in some cases in the whole region. Of these programs: Optometry, Audiology and Hearing, Design of TV, Cinema and Theater are examples in the B.Sc. level. In the master Level, AAU “Al Ahliyya Amman University” offers a joint MBA program with Heriot watt university in UK, a Master in Intelligent Transportation Systems, a Master of Government Managements and a Master in Clinical Psychology.
With high unemployment with university graduates today, how is Al Ahliyya connecting its students with future employment? (For example, does the university have any connections with companies that provide internship opportunities for Al Ahliyya students? Or are there any events that allow students to meet potential employers?)
An Alumni Follow–Up Unit was established to take responsibility of tracking the progress and performance of AAU graduates, and exploring the views of the employers who hire them. A yearly meeting is organized in an “Alumni Day” to discuss developments and improvements measures at get benefits of our graduates’ and their employers’ experiences in the fields of interests. Further, AAU “Al Ahliyya Amman University” signs several MoU’s and Agreements with highly qualified manufacturers and specialized companies to provide quality training opportunities to our students. As an example, AAU recently signed an MoU with Knauf ( a well-known German Company) to establish a training workshop in the campus to provide training opportunities to our studies in architecture and interior design. Also, Cisco Academy was established 3 years ago in the campus to offer quality in-house training to engineering and IT students in the field of networking. These are just some examples.
A Job-Day is usually organized twice a year in the campus with the participation of large no of companies and employers to help our students getting relevant jobs.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing university students today and how can they be addressed?
A lot of challenges facing university students these days. The most important one is to be competitive in the labor market. From our side, we help them through professional in-campus training in almost every field of interest. Also, AAU keeps developing curricula to match the latest advancement research outcomes in the fields of interest. The will enable our graduates to efficiently compete in the local and regional labor market.
The Ministry of Higher Education plans on implementing a rating system for universities in the near future. Do you think this will encourage universities, like Al Ahliyya, to be more competitive and innovative moving forward?
University Ranking is one of the measures and procedures usually applied to encourage universities to be competitive and innovative. However, this issue is not as simple as it seems. It is a double-sided weapon. I think it needs more careful investigation before applying it.
With innovation, critical thinking, and creativity being at the forefront of discussion when it comes to education, does Al Ahliyya encourage its students to partake in their own research and publication? Additionally, what are some innovations or creative accomplishments to come from some Al Ahliyya students?
Critical thinking, Innovation and creativity are of primary concerns when developing programs curriculums. All programs have common aims and objectives, that is to improve our students’ capabilities in such aspects. A lot of success stories are achieved almost every day by our students, both locally and regionally.