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JUST leads Arab universities on GreenMetric World University Ranking

By Dana Al Emam - Jan 28,2015 - Last updated at Jan 28,2015

AMMAN — The Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) ranked first among Arab universities and 49th internationally in the GreenMetric World University Ranking. 

The 2014 index, which is carried out by an initiative of Universitas Indonesia, includes 360 international universities that are ranked according to green campuses and sustainability measures.

JUST, which is located in Ramtha some 90km north of Amman, scored 6,568 points, up from 5,382 points in the 2013 ranking, where it landed in 113th place among 301 universities.

The ranking criteria include the size of the university and its location — urban, suburban or rural — as well as the degree of green spaces on campus, according to the GreenMetric website.

It also evaluates electricity consumption, transport, water usage and waste management, in addition to the administration’s dealing with the issue of sustainability through policies, actions and communication.

JUST Vice President Ahmed M. Elbetieha attributed the university’s “success” to a number of measures, such as the spread of green areas over the 45-square-kilometre campus, with over 1 million trees, including some 45,000 olive trees.

In a phone interview with The Jordan Times on Wednesday, Elbetieha added that the university uses recycled water for irrigation. The water is collected in special pools and mixed with rain water.

“The annual production of olive oil reaches 6,000 containers, used as a source of income to the university’s budget,” he said, highlighting the importance of productivity and self-sufficiency in the agriculture faculty as well.

Founded in 1986, JUST “has more than 800 full-time faculty members, with 20,000 undergraduate and 1,800 graduate students”, according to its website.

JUST has its own medical waste incinerator, which serves the university and the surrounding area, Elbetieha said.

“The university recently floated a tender to upgrade the efficiency of the incinerator and make it more environment friendly,” he said.

The official noted that most internal correspondence is electronic to save paper and minimise waste, and all student-related procedures are online.

Furthermore, work is under way to establish a model house that utilises solar energy for lighting, heating and cooling, he said.

“JUST seeks to use solar energy to decrease the electricity bill of the university and the King Abdullah I University Hospital, which amounts to JD9 million annually, by 40 per cent,” Elbetieha said, adding that the university recently floated a tender to implement the project.         

The university aims for a higher rank in the 2015 index, as the renewable energy model house and the solar project are expected to be finished.

“We have some 5,000 international students from over 40 countries that are not only attracted to JUST’s academic strengths, but also to its clean environment,” he underscored.  

The UK’s University of Nottingham ranked first in the index, followed by the University College Cork National University of Ireland and the UK’s Nottingham Trent University.

Indonesia’s Universitas Pelita Harapan was at the bottom of the list, ranking 360, preceded by the Turkish Celal Bayar University.

The University of Jordan (UJ) ranked 103rd, Petra University ranked 253, while the Hashemite University came in 345th place.

In 2013, UJ ranked 279, while Petra University ranked 218th and the Hashemite University ranked 247th.    

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