Interdisciplinary Solutions for Tertiary Education Institutions and a Stagnating Labor Market in Jordan: A Case Study at a Public University

Interdisciplinary Solutions for Tertiary Education Institutions and a Stagnating Labor Market in Jordan: A Case Study at a Public University

Mohammed S. Shunnaq (Yarmouk University, Jordan) and Susanne Ramadan Shunnaq (Sultan Qaboos University, Oman)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3878-3.ch004


In the late 1980s, the Jordanian economy suffered a depression; consequently, public higher education institutions started receiving less government funding. To contain the economic crisis, Jordan underwent an economic reform which changed labor market needs. In response to these developments, Yarmouk University (YU) established global partnerships in an attempt to face the new challenges. An exceptionally successful example was the first joint program between the University of Arkansas (UA) and YU which was initiated in 1996-1999. The cooperation resulted in the establishment of the Department of Conservation and the Management of Cultural Resources which was an interdisciplinary program, faculty exchange, training programs, and collaboration on interdisciplinary research and grant proposals. This innovative endeavor helped Yarmouk University keep abreast of global changes while providing a demanding and continually changing marketplace with the best possibly trained specialists and professionals. The study explores how such a model can solve problems with stagnant specialties.
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Organization Background

His Majesty King Hussein Bin Talal issued a royal decree in 1975 in which he stressed the need for a second national university in the Kingdom of Jordan—the first being the University of Jordan (UJ) in Amman. The location of the new university would be Irbid city, about 90 km north of Amman, the capital. The next year, YU was established, named after a local river of great significance in Arab history. On the16th of June 1977, the late King Hussein inaugurated the university during the country's silver jubilee celebrations of the King's accession to the throne.

Ever since the establishment of YU, its growth has been steady and systematic. In 1986 it was decided that this higher education institution be divided into two campuses: the Yarmouk campus located in the heart of Irbid, only one km from the city center and the new campus at a distance of about 20 km to the east forming a new fully-fledged national university—The Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST). All applied sciences faculties were transplanted to the new campus: Engineering, Pharmacy, Medicine, Public Health, Supporting Medical Sciences, Dentistry and Nursing. This new campus would become the heart of the Northern Economic Zone to be announced by His Majesty King Abdullah II on May 1st 2007.

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