The involved institutions

University of Jordan (UJ), Horticulture and Crop Science department has 20 staff members. The department includes postgraduate programs of M.Sc. degree in Biotechnology and Horticulture and Crop Science, Organic farming and Ph.D. degree in Horticulture and Crop Science. It includes an undergraduate program in Horticulture and Crop Science and one in Landscaping and Floriculture. The mission of the department is to educate students and interact with producers, associated industries, professional groups and society through a distinctive curriculum and a dynamic research activity.

Al- Balqa’ Applied University (BAU) is with a capacity of 47,500 student a leading institution in qualifying human resources in both levels of higher education (vocational and technical) and endorsing scientific research for local communities’ socio-economic development. BAU provides the Jordan (agricultural) market with highly qualified graduates fulfilling the demands of the market with experts and professional employment accordingly of high standards responds to the exchangeable market’s needs, both technically and systematically. The Faculty of Agricultural Technology has a leading position in biotechnology, nutrition, agriculture and water resources, environment, management and development in Jordan.

Shoubk Univeristy College TVET was established in 1965/1966, as an agricultural school. In 1975, it became a part of the Ministry of Education to graduate qualified agricultural teachers. In 1999, it became one of Al-Balqa’s Applied University Colleges. It offers both a diploma and BSc in Plant Production. College contains a large number of technical and administrative staff where the number of qualified faculty members at the college is 271 teachers and the number of administrators and technicians and workers is 76 employees.

Al-Huson University College TVET was established in 1981, as part of the second educational project accomplished by the Ministry of Education, and the goal of establishing the college in the beginning was the rehabilitation of technicians and technical specialists to meet the needs of the Jordanian society. In 1985 it, became a part of the Ministry of Education and then it became one of Al-Balqa’s Applied University Colleges. It offers both a diploma and B.Sc in Nutrition and Food Processing. College contains a large number of technical and administrative staff where the number of qualified faculty members at the college is 133 teachers and the number of administrators and technicians and workers is 148 employees.

Context

The competence and skill gap in agricultural education in Jordan

In the Jordanian horticulture sector, there is a mismatch between labour market skills & competencies demand, and Higher Education (HE) and College (TVET) supply of skilled graduates. Especially the TVETs that offer low- to medium-skilled graduates are often not well jointed and act rather ‘stand-alone’. Over the past years, there are no clear coordination, dialogue and communication channels between them. The newly approved law in Jordan aims to change this. Under this new Board, the TVET Skills Development Commission implements new approaches.

Also, the HE’s and TVETs often do not have an active and well-structured professional network, and companies and organizations from this network are insufficiently involved in mapping required skills & competencies, provide input in curriculum & program design, or offer structured uptake of students for internship or apprenticeship programs. HE and TVET teaching staff and management is often not trained on-the-job at location of these companies / organizations. This results in a lack of labour-market focused research & planning to get the private sector on board of HE and TVET education.

Finally, at TVET level as well as in the labour market, the Jordanian setting is one of little participation of girls and women, even when compared to other surrounding countries. The project aims to improve the current situation of low gender balance at HE, TVET, and workforce levels, be it within existing social norms and practices.

Project goal and outputs

The project links closely to the transformation process towards more inclusive labour market and sector development, fostering an inducive environment for young graduates to find and create jobs.

Together with Maastricht School Of Management (MSM), Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA), CINOP, Profyta BV and Acacia Water BV, Q-Point focuses on a multi-disciplinary implementation of the project in this integrated field of horticulture sector development and optimizing water efficiency and wastewater re-use for irrigation.

The project combines the objectives of promotion of agricultural growth and sustainable & equitable water use. It concentrates on enhancing horticulture curricula and programmes of two TVETs and one higher education providers: University of Jordan. The focus of the project is to strengthen the technical capacities of the teaching staff and management to successfully provide these courses and educate young people in the field of horticultural sector development and optimising water efficiency and wastewater re-use for irrigation, resulting in curricula and courses strongly based on the needs in the horticultural labour market.

Training of Trainers: Curriculum Development (by Alma Ruting)

What: To develop pedagogical & didactical competencies of TVET staff to (revise and) deliver curricula + Water-smart horticulture technical competencies of TVET staff to include tech transfer & industry extension in teaching, and On-the-job training of TVET staff in technical skills & competencies

When: 17 – 20 October 2022

Training content: 

Objective: During this training, participants have developed and revised teaching and learning materials in line with the revised learning objectives of the following modules with the help of Dutch partners:

  • Agricultural Meteorology, i.e. using weather data, very important
  • Field crop production, i.e. linking here to greenhouse visits during the workshop
  • Intensive horticulture, i.e. greenhouse farming, combine with b) above during the workshop.
  • Fruit tree production, i.e. focus on 5.5 and 5.6
  • Integrated plant protection, i.e. emphasis on IPM, a critical issue.
  • Plant propagation and nursery, i.e., linkage with greenhouse production above (b and c)
  • Principles of management and agriculture, i.e., role for MSM and Acacia
  • Principles of food and food technology, i.e., focus on horticultural products only
  • Principles of soil and irrigation, i.e., roles for Profyta and Acacia
  • Ornamental plants and landscaping.

Training outcome: 1) Staff are trained in designing and developing hands-on and learner-focused assignments and assessments;
2) Actual development of those assignments and assessments.

Training of Trainers: Gender sensitive entrepreneurship (Lisa Rotteveel)

What: Development of entrepreneurial mindset in order to improve the entrepreneurial curriculum for better link to the labour market after graduation of (in particular female) students.

When: 13-17 Feb 2023 (4 days)

Training content: Focus on entrepreneurial mindset by letting teachers experience entrepreneurship for themselves. Training on practical entrepreneurship for teachers based on the CANVAS model. Identification of ideas, development of a business plan for a start-up company, pitching during the “business challenge”.

Training output: Pitch event where participants pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to ‘jury’ as kickstart for their fictitious business idea.

Training of Trainers: Female talent and gender & inclusion (By Olivia Ansenk)

What: Strengthening collaboration with the horticulture sector to smooth the transition of especially female horticulture graduates.

When: 23 – 26 November 2022

Training content: How to create a inclusive and female talent programme?

What do companies expect from (female) students? Management of expectations. What (practical) skills are required? What is the role of the educational institution, the company and the student? How to monitor progress. How to improve the position of female students in companies?

Gender issues were discussed in groups:

  • High unemployment among female horticulture graduates
  • Private horticulture companies want fewer women than men
  • Women are restricted in travelling to work, cultural norms
  • The performance of female students within the horticulture programme is very positive
  • Overall, women are well represented within the university
  • How can women’s access to jobs in the horticulture sector be improved, after successful student success?

Training outcome: Gender-sensitive interventions to improve the horticulture sector, such as the creation of a mentoring and career guidance strategy for female students and graduates and its institutionalisation.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The objective of the project is to contribute to End hunger, double smallholder productivity and income, and ensure the sustainability and resilience of food production systems by 2030 (SDG 2).

The key long-term impact of the is project is to: 1) Promote agricultural growth; and 2) Create ecologically sustainable food systems. As the increase of water efficiency and wastewater re-use for agriculture (horticulture) production are key aspects of the project, additional long-term impacts are: 3) Water is used sustainably and equitably, ensuring the needs of all sectors and the environment, and 4) Water efficiency in agriculture increased

The medium-term impact that will contribute to this:

  1. Education system (TVET/HE) is of good quality, relevant and accessible (SDG 4);
  2. Partnerships between persons and organisations are inclusive and sustainable (SDG 17);
  3. Organizations key to (sectoral) inclusive development of partner countries are strengthened by inflow of enhanced workforce.

Client

Funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic, as part of the Orange Knowledge Programme, project numberOKP-JOR-30002.

  • University of Jordan logo

Looptijd

November 2019 – March 2023

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