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HTU conference on vocational education, youth employment kicks off

By Suzanna Goussous - Jul 29,2018 - Last updated at Jul 29,2018

Al Hussein Technical University conference brought together university students, decision makers, stakeholders, developers, entrepreneurs and professors to merge efforts in creating positive competitiveness in technical and vocational education in Jordan (Photo by Suzanna Goussous)

AMMAN — Al Hussein Technical University (HTU) conference kicked off on Saturday, with the aim of creating a network between the private and public sectors in exchanging knowledge and skills in the areas of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. 

The conference brought together university students, decision makers, stakeholders, developers, entrepreneurs and professors to merge efforts in creating positive competitiveness in technical and vocational education in Jordan.

Hala Ghananeem, of the organising team, said the conference aims at building a technical and efficient educational system at universities.

The two-day conference covers a wide range of topics, according to organisers, including the future of technical and applied education, exponential leadership, youth and future technologies, emerging technologies, employability skills and innovation and entrepreneurship.

 “The traditional way of teaching will only give students a diploma; however, with the inclusion of the technical side, through workshops, conferences or training sessions, fresh graduates will be equipped with the skills and experience needed for the job market,” Ghananeem, a civil engineering student, told The Jordan Times.

Rajai Muasher, deputy prime minister and minister of State, who was deputising for the HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah, said that Jordan has one of the fastest-growing rates in young workforce in the region. 

“In the light of increased unemployment rates, we call for joint efforts to accommodate young talents,” the minister said, adding that the government has a plan to increase employment rates for the Jordanian youths.

HTU president, Labeeb Khadra, said the university aims at providing a balanced educational stream, where for each theoretical project students are given a practical one on a parallel level. 

The university, established to support students in the areas of vocational, technical and applied education, adopts the “STEM” curriculum which is based on educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Several startup companies took part in the conference by showcasing their programmes and applications.  The companies were supported by the HTU in the first stages of growth and are now partnering up with the University for Future Projects. 

Abeer Bashiti, co-founder of InSys Technology, said the startup company operates through the Insys technology creates systems that measure human emotions. She said the partnership with the university will be through data collection to test out the already-present algorithm with university students. 

Yacoub Zureikat, founder of Elevatus, a technology company focused on recruitment through 30-second video curriculum vitae on the online platform, said that the company aims at linking students to jobs based on their skills. "Employers can search for the job seeker via introductory videos posted on the platform, which enables students to showcase their talents, interests, and accomplishments,” he said

Through artificial intelligence, the platform will analyse the applicant’s personality based on the video submitted, Zureikat said, adding that the university had “incubated the startup company as they launched with the aim of providing more job opportunities to fresh graduates from all universities around the Kingdom".

Energy engineering student at HTU Ibrahim Zou’bi said the implementation of the project brings efficiency and productivity to in-class work, where students can practice working on their graduation projects several times before the final submission. 

Yazan Hijazi, director at the Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Excellence at HTU, said the centre aims at complementing instead of replicating ideas, by bridging the gaps and collaborating in projects that “raise the bar” through promoting inclusivity, where one company would have a solution for another.

At the conference, the university signed memoranda of understanding with the French embassy to invest in the areas of energy engineering, information technology, and civil engineering and the Jordan Aviation Airline, through which scholarships will be offered to prospective students from different governorates.

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