National Erasmus+ Offices: a look into Jordan’s Erasmus+ hub

If you are visiting the office of the Minister of Education in Jordan, one of the first things you will see on entering the building is an Erasmus+ banner. This is because the building is also home to the National Erasmus+ Office in Amman.

National Erasmus+ Offices (NEOs) exist in 27 countries in the EU's neighbourhood, and are responsible for local management of the programme.

When the EU decided to set up the offices in 2003, the Jordanian Education Minister had no doubt who the right person was to recommend for the job in Amman. Professor Ahmad Abu-El-Haija, a Professor of Electrical Computer Engineering, is a graduate of Stanford University and has also been Vice President and Dean of Faculty in a large Jordanian institute. The NEO now comprises 4 full-time staff.

Prof Abu-El-Haija explains: ‘NEOs are the best-placed to know what is going on in the sector, and therefore how best to support Erasmus+. We know and understand the priorities within higher education institutions, the Ministry, and we work very closely with the EU Delegation. We work at all stages of projects and potential projects: raising awareness, preparing proposals, kick-off and monitoring.

The sorts of activities supported by Erasmus+ and its predecessor programmes have made a big difference in the way Jordanian universities work. Here's just one example: ‘When Erasmus+ was launched only a couple of the 17 main universities we work with had international relations offices. Now most have structured offices to manage mobility to Erasmus+ standards and to enhance the services they offer students.’

‘We have regular and direct contacts with universities country-wide,’ added Prof Abu-El-Haija.

‘Just this morning I spoke to 3 public universities to recommend that they attend a regional seminar for universities from the Southern Mediterranean organised in October 2017.’

Want to set up a cooperation or mobility project with a partner organisation abroad or want to take part in Erasmus+ from a partner country? NEOs can help you.

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