» New journalism courses presented to universities as part of UNESCO's "Support to Media in Jordan" project
08.11.2016 - UNESCO Office in Amman

New journalism courses presented to universities as part of UNESCO's "Support to Media in Jordan" project

@Lidija Sabados/UNESCO

Amman, 2 November 2016 – UNESCO partner Canal France International (CFI) was in Amman this week to meet with representatives from Yarmouk University and Middle East University (MEU) in order to present their recommendations on the proposed revision of journalism education curricula.

This review process was initiated several months ago, and CFI has been reviewing the current study plans and meeting with university officials since July 2016. After a thorough review, several improvements to both universities’ curricula have been recommended, in both content and methodology, in order to better meet international standards and the emerging needs of the Jordanian media industry.

The recommendations include adding mandatory courses on online journalism (Web 1, Web 2), a course on ethics and legislation, investigative journalism, and interview skills for radio and TV. Currently the journalism curricula do not focus on the online media space, which is evolving rapidly and has significantly changed the profession and the media market.

CFI also recommended decreasing the class size for practical courses to no more than 15 students, so that the quality of the teaching can be maintained at a high level.

“After today’s meeting, we went over our study plans and added the six subjects right away, crossing out some of our current ones and replacing them with new proposed ones,” said Sara Nasereddin, International Affairs Director at MEU.

Both MEU and Yarmouk University have agreed to add the recommended courses to their new study plans, which have to first be approved by the Board of Deans and then submitted to the Accreditation Commission for Higher Education before they could be implemented in the next academic year.

“We are very happy to have the new courses. We think they will add value to our curriculum, and the question now is about implementation. We badly need training for our staff and also new equipment in order to operate,” said Dr. Khalaf Tahat of the Mass Communication College/Journalism Department at Yarmouk University.

The recommendations are part of the ‘entry level journalism education and systematic quality training for media professionals’ component of the EU funded and UNESCO implemented “Support to Media in Jordan” project. Next in this project component is a training of professors on teaching skills and methodology needed to be able to teach the new courses.

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