The Lebanese, along with the Palestinians,
had one of the highest literacy rates in the Arab
world. The rate was estimated at nearly to 80
percent in the mid-1980s, but like most other
spheres of Lebanese life, communal and regional
disparities existed. In general, Christians had
a literacy rate twice that of Muslims. Druzes
followed with a literacy rate just above that
of Sunnis. Shias had the lowest literacy rate
among the religious communities.
Secondary education is free but not compulsory.
It consists of two years' study for students aged
16 to 18 who have completed the basic cycle (10
years) and comprises two major tracks: 1) Comprehensive
education, which can either be academic or vocational.
At the end of the two-year period students sit
for the general secondary examination (Tawjihi)
in the appropriate branch and those who pass are
awarded the Tawjihi (General Secondary School
Certificate). The academic stream qualifies for
entrance to universities, whereas the vocational
or technical type qualifies for entrance to Community
Colleges. 2) Applied secondary education, which
provides intensive vocational training and apprenticeship,
and leads to the award of a Certificate (not the
Tawjihi). This type of education is provided by
the Vocational Training Corporation, under the
control of the Ministry of Labour.
Access to higher education is open to holders
of the General Secondary Education Certificate
who can then choose between private Community
Colleges, public Community Colleges or universities.
The credit-hour system has been adopted at universities,
which entitles students to select courses according
to a study plan. Higher education has developed
along two separate lines, with traditional universities
on the one hand, and non-university level institutions
(Community Colleges) on the other. All post-secondary
education is the responsibility of the Ministry
of Higher Education and the Council of Higher
Definition of foreign student: A foreign student
is any non-Jordanian national admitted to higher
education institutions in Jordan. Many foreign
nationals apply for admission to Jordanian universities
each year. They come from Arab countries, Africa,
Europe and Asia.
Quotas: Foreign students should represent a 10
percent quota of the total number of students
admitted to Jordanian universities.
Foreign students should have qualifications equivalent
to the Jordan Secondary Education Certificate.