2016 Report on the GJU Evaluation


In the Winter semester 2015/16 the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) appointed an independent high level expert commission to evaluate the progress of the German Jordanian University in depth.

As the end result of its evaluation, the Commission has concluded that the GJU project is a successful and distinctive bi-national project that inextricably includes aspects of international academic cooperation, cooperation in education and development, and cultural exchange.

The Commission has indeed seen proof of impressive commitment on both sides, and knows the project to be in good hands both in Jordan and in Germany. {Evaluation Report, 53}

The Commission acknowledges the importance of this project compared to others in terms of academic and foreign policy due to its unique profile, its size and lifetime and its effects on the Jordanian, higher education system and the wider region, as well as on the German higher education system via a broad-ranging network structure. The Commission expressly commends the dedication of all involved parties, and sees the project in good hands both in Germany and in Jordan.

Both Jordan and Germany are countries with limited natural resources, and therefore depend on investing in the intellectual capabilities of their populations in order to develop. With its universities of applied sciences, Germany's sophisticated academic system offers a type of higher education institution featuring a structure and profile that can meet urgent needs not only in Jordan, but across the entire region. Although there is no lack of insight in the region regarding the need for greater practical and career orientation of academic studies, it has so far not been possible for cultural and historical reasons to implement this type of higher education institution even rudimentarily.

At GJU on the other hand the Commission believes that the university of applied sciences model has for the first time been successfully embedded at a university newly founded for the purpose.

Field training in Jordan involves work experience with realistic projects at Jordanian or multi-national companies in cooperation with the Office for Industrial Links, which largely leads to win-win situations for both parties. {Evaluation Report, 29-30}

The Commission sees several reasons for this success:

  • The presence of governmental will and financial commitment to GJU on the Jordanian side, and comprehensive infrastructural and other support from the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • GJU's founding as a new institution without historic "baggage", and the specific powers with which it was furnished.
  • The flexible adaptation by all stakeholders of the university of applied sciences model to Jordanian circumstances and legal requirements.
  • The extremely high level of commitment from all stakeholders: project management, project office, DAAD and German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), GJU and Jordanian government departments.

Compared to other projects in the Trans National Education (TNE) program, the Commission considers the specifics of this project to lie in the intensity and extent of its implementation of the German universities of applied sciences model and its connections to Germany.

The project's implementation of the German universities of applied sciences model is reflected in particular in the range of subjects offered at GJU, in the design of the curricula, that is, their practical and project orientation, in the project's appointment policies, and more.

The universities of applied sciences approach is very well implemented through the development of the curriculum and also the use of practice-oriented elements such as work experience in Jordan and Germany. {Evaluation Report, 31}

Demand from business and society is apparent in graduates' largely easy entry into employment. The Commission thus considers the main criterion for measuring the project's success, graduates' promising transition into the labor market, to be met. It also sees the applicant ratio for places at GJU of on average 2:1 as an important marker of sufficient demand and a quality-oriented range of degree programs.

The project's implementation of the German universities of applied sciences model is accompanied as a second specific point by its significant connections to Germany. This aspect is reflected in the major roles in university management and administration that are held by Germans, in the extensive short- and long-term use of German teaching staff, in arguably the world's largest center for learning German, and most importantly in a mandatory and legally secured German Year for all students.

The self-evaluation report, the conversations on site and the observation lessons made clear that GLC [German Language Center] has taken extensive measures to improve German teaching at GJU. In all, the Commission had the impression that the programme meets a high standard of quality. {Evaluation Report, 43}

This German Year combines the project's implementation of the German universities of applied sciences model and its connections to Germany, as the year consists of a study semester and a one-semester internship. Managing this year in terms of content, language, academia and organization commands the Commission's highest respect. The Commission considers this format and combination outstanding. Alongside these structural aspects, the Commission recognizes a significant commitment from GJU to strengthening its connections to Germany, which manifests e.g. in awarding foreign exchange scholarships exclusively for stays in Germany or the fact that the German Year is a permanent item on the agenda of the Deans' Council.

It is all the more pleasing that in GJU the universities of applied sciences model has for the first time been successfully embedded in Jordan at a university newly founded for the purpose. {Evaluation Report, 54}

The Commission considers the successfully developing contacts to industry in Jordan an excellent opportunity to facilitate internships and project-oriented academic studies. It recommends that GJU actively approach businesses far more intensively and regularly than at present, make clearer the arising opportunities for mutual benefit, and communicate this idea more broadly into the university, ultimately embedding it at all schools. In this respect the Commission supports the GJU management in its aim of transitioning from its successfully established strategy of "education for employment" to "education for employment and entrepreneurship".

As one of the closing remarks, the commission expressly supports the further funding of the GJU as one of Germany’s most successful higher education endeavors. Various recommendations are given, resulting in a budget proposal to fund the basic operation of the university with a special focus on the German dimanesion.

The Commission considers further support from German public funds expedient and indispensable… {Evaluation Report, 65}