The requirements and aspirations of the future will not allow universities to keep their tasks limited simply to providing knowledge to their students, but rather they will have to transform into universities that manufacture that knowledge and produce it by actively engaging in scientific research that keeps pace with the needs and necessities of the times.
From this perspective, Princess Sumaya University for Technology is striving to accelerate its efforts to gradually transform into a research university. This is to be added to the two tracks it has worked on since its inception three decades ago, the international dimension and specialized studies, which also serve to accelerate the achievement of its desired goal.
Needless to say, PSUT’s appearance in international university rankings, and its achievement of top positions locally and internationally, was only the culmination of that endeavor. In the QS World University Rankings 2020, it achieved first place locally and 16 out of 1,300 universities in the Arab region, specifically in the criterion of the ratio of the number of published scientific papers to the number of faculty members.
Furthermore, obtaining the five stars at its first bid, and in all categories of the international QS Stars ratings, is a milestone in PSUT’s progress, as one of the categories of this evaluation depends directly on what the university’s achievements in the field of scientific research.
PSUT’s President, Prof. Mashhoor Al-Refai, believes that what has been achieved in this field is all down to the efforts made by the entire University, involving all its administrative and academic staff, and under the directives of HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, Chair of its Board of Trustees, who called to enact legislation that would motivate researchers, encourage them, and facilitate all aspects of their work. Prof. Al-Refai indicated that the number of research published in PSUT’s name has quadrupled to what it was in 2014, according to the statistics of the Scopus global research databases.
Al-Refai mentioned that PSUT allocates 5% of its budget to scientific research, stressing that this percentage increases every year, reaching 6.55% last year despite the circumstances of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Al-Refai added that PSUT is in the process of forming research teams in its Schools and departments, and that in recent years it has worked to develop study programs, most of which are in graduate studies, to enhance scientific research. It is looking forward to creating two PhD programs in Electrical Engineering and Business Administration.
The Dean of the King Abdullah I School of Graduate Studies and Scientific Research, Prof. Khaldoun Abugharbieh, says that PSUT devotes a large part of its capabilities to the purposes of scientific research, from the Bachelor’s level to the PhD, as all members of the academic body work in scientific research. The University is also characterized by flexibility and creativity in facing various challenges, which enhances its ability to compete internationally.
The Dean also highlighted the fact that PSUT is unique among Jordanian private universities in granting its faculty members sabbatical leave based on the scientific research projects they present. It encourages and supports their participation in specialized international conferences with a global reputation, stressing that the most important condition that must be fulfilled by a faculty member is to publish a certain number of research works in journals indexed in one of the global databases. This is evident in the high number of university publications where the publishing rate for faculty members was approximately 1.2 research papers per year.
Abugharbieh added that PSUT is also keen to activate the role of graduate students in scientific research, as the number of their publications reached 65 research papers in the year 2020.
Abugharbieh indicated that the graduate School’s deanship has worked to establish a special office to finance research projects, as part of its efforts to create sustainable streams for scientific research and to overcome any difficulties encountered by researchers.
He concluded by saying that PSUT attaches great importance to the "Jordanian Journal of Computers and Information Technology", which is issued by the Ministry of Higher Education and based at the University. The journal was recently included in the Scopus search database.
In 2019, the Deanship, with the support of USAID, established a Scientific Research Ethics Unit, believing in the necessity to protect individuals participating in research, and in line with the ethical and legal responsibilities of research operations.
Notably, two researchers from PSUT, Prof. Ahmad Hiyasat (Computer Engineering) and Prof. Mohammad Sababha, (Mathematics) were selected among the list of the best 2% of researchers worldwide during the current academic year, according to the updated database of scientific researchers for standardized citation metrics prepared by Stanford University and the international publishing house, Elsevier.