Students’ research projects on Syrian refugees in Jordan were among the winners of the Scientific Research Prize for Jordanian Universities’ Students 2016, awarded on Wednesday.
Alaa Gharaibeh, who won the third place award for her research about the effect of Syrian refugees on the education system’s resources, said that material resources were affected more than financial resources.
Jordan receives foreign financial aid to cover financial costs, but school facilities and buildings have suffered because of the increased number of schools working a two-shift system, especially in the central and northern governorates, Gharaibeh explained.
“We have all witnessed the damage which has occurred to the educational system, but it needed to be measured,” the MA student of educational administration from Jadara University told The Jordan Times.
Gharaibeh’s research paper recommended increasing educational funds, either through the state budget, or by finding profitable projects which can financially alleviate some of the problems caused by the Syrian refugee crisis.
A second student, Maisaa Momani, was also honoured with third place for her research on “The effect of Syrian asylum on child refugees’ psychological health” in Jordan.
Her research found that children, who did not lose a parent in war, did not suffer huge psychological problems.
The 22-year-old student of family studies from Yarmouk University said that Syrian child refugees are treated equally to their Jordanian classmates, which helps maintain better psychological health.
Momani’s research was based on a random sample of 50 Syrian children in Ajloun, 70km northwest of Amman.
A third student, Inaam Abu Adas, shared third place with Gharaibeh and Momani, for her research on quality management application in Jerash University from the perspective of professors and students.
Moreover, Mohammad Tamimi, an MA student in civil engineering at the Jordan University of Science and Technology, came in second place for his research on the role of higher education in improving the Jordanian state, from the perspective of professors and students.
This year, no first place prize was awarded as no one reached the expected academic standard, the organisers said.
Among the 217 students who applied for the award, 13 presented research papers and eight competed for the first three places, within three separate categories: local, Arab and Islamic studies; the study of the Arab- Israeli conflict; and international studies, according to Bayan Omari, the vice president of the Middle Eastern Studies Centre (MESC), the award’s founder.
This year’s awards were organised by the Applied Sciences University, Philadelphia University and the University of Jordan, along with MESC, with sponsorship by the Hayat Educational Fund.
Omari said the level of scientific research in Jordan and the Middle East is not up to the international standard due to the lack of investment, funding and support for this field, citing technical, academic, administrative and financial problems as well.
“But we are trying to change this,” Omari added, highlighting that the award has recognised the academic excellence of 65 students since 1998.
The award aims to encourage high quality research and the application of critical thinking and scientific research to economic, political and intellectual problems faced by students, the official said.