The International Relations Office is pleased to announce that the University of Bath has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institute for Family Health in Jordan (IFH).

The primary aim of this MoU is to solidify collaboration with the IFH in the areas of teaching and research, strengthening the existing collaboration with the Department of Social and Policy Sciences. Under this agreement, MSc Humanitarianism, Conflict and Development (HCDev) students will undertake work experience opportunities to learn from IFH staff and other humanitarian and community groups in Jordan. Other areas of collaboration involve Bath academics and doctorial students providing lectures and workshops to IFH; such activities constituting a valuable opportunity for dissemination of findings to leading Jordanian professionals in the field of health, child protection and rehabilitation.

The Department of Social and Policy Sciences at Bath has strong links with Jordan, with Bath Honorary Professor Rana Jawad having co-founded the MENA social policy network back in 2013, which is the world's only research and knowledge exchange grouping of its kind. In addition to this, there have been several research grants awarded to the Department of Social and Policy Sciences by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the International Relation Office's internal funding scheme, including projects analysing women’s low workforce participation, child protection policy, and refugee and host community livelihoods, both within Jordan and amongst the wider Middle East and North African regions.

In addition to research with the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, the partnership also poses an exciting opportunity for inter-disciplinary collaboration at Bath. There is potential for colleagues across multiple faculties to undertake research and student residentials in Jordan, specifically within engineering and science disciplines that address climate change alleviation, including water and civil engineering.

The IFH, part of the King Hussain Foundation, was established as a primary healthcare centre for mothers and children, however, over the past thirty years, it has evolved into 26 branches that provide cross-generational services and now acts as a holistic community healthcare model for integrated prevention, curative, protection, and rehabilitation services. Their work links directly to the UN's SDG #3, Good Health and Well Being, which aligns with the University's strategic institutional research themes of Sustainability and Health & Wellbeing.

The IFH plays a major role in the delivery of physical and mental health services to the huge refugee population in Jordan, which continues to rise due to conflict and climate change in the region. Professor Jason Hart, who led the MoU proposal, has been working in Jordan with refugee populations for more than 25 years and most recently visited the IFH at their Amman HQ in May 2023.

On the establishment of the MoU, Professor Jason Hart said:

The Institute for Family Health is the pre-eminent Jordanian NGO working in the field of health. It has worked tirelessly across the Kingdom to support diverse population groups, including refugees. Over recent years teaching and research at the University of Bath has been enriched by our collaboration with IFH. I am therefore delighted that we have created an MoU between our two institutions. This will encourage a broadening of collaboration and serve to strengthen ties between the University and esteemed colleagues in Jordan.