Through an historic agreement between BYU and the University of Jordan in Amman, the universities will work to establish ties of friendship and cooperation and to promote mutual understanding through possible academic, cultural and personnel exchanges.
BYU Pres. Rex E. Lee and Associate Academic Vice Pres. John S. Tanner met with University of Jordan Pres. Fawzi Gharaibeh in the Middle Eastern nation to sign the pact, according to an article published in the English-language Jordan Times on July 25.The July agreement formalizes educational exchanges that have already been occurring over the past several years, according to Pres. Lee.
It makes possible bilateral cooperation in academic, scientific and cultural fields.
BYU officials traveled to Jordan two years ago to provide help with admissions for top Jordanian students. "And Senator
MohammadT Kamal, a high-ranking official in the Jordanian government, and his good friend, Ambassador David Kennedy, worked out a scholarship plan for some Jordanian students to attend BYU," noted Pres. Lee, who had high praise for the quality of the Jordanian students already at BYU.
"This latest agreement doesn't commit either institution to anything, so it will largely depend on what we both put into it," he added.
"However, the agreement does have the potential to further strengthen our relationship - and through us the relationship of the Church - with Jordan."
Group visits by BYU students to the Jordan campus will facilitate short- and long-term study and research, and in exchange, graduates of the University of Jordan will receive careful consideration for admission to BYU.
In addition, the two universities will explore possibilities for post-doctoral fellowships, faculty exchanges, joint conferences and an exchange of books and reference materials published at the universities.
Among the Jordanian students who have already enjoyed success at BYU are the children of a top government official. Pres. Lee said that Maj. Gen. Hmeidi Al-Fayez, chief military adviser and protocol chief to Jordan's King Hussein, was on the BYU campus during commencement exercises on Aug. 11 to see his daughter, Ghadeer, receive a graduate degree in international relations.
Al-Fayez's son, Nayef, graduated from BYU last year and, like his father, is now serving on the King's personal staff.