At the meeting, both sides welcomed their countries’ good relations in the field of science and exchanged views at length on Switzerland’s system of vocational education and training. The topics discussed included task sharing between the public and private sector, how to ensure the appeal of vocational education and training to young people in the long term, social recognition of the dual-track system, its permeability, and employment prospects. The meeting took place on the fringes of a visit by a Jordanian delegation on the topic of education in Switzerland. In addition to the talks at the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), Dr Mahafzah visited a cantonal career guidance and information centre, a company that trains young people and a vocational school.
Relations between Switzerland and Jordan in the field of science are good and are founded on a number of instruments. SERI has appointed the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO) as the Leading House for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for 2021–24. Within this framework, HES-SO has launched a number of cooperation instruments for start-up funding and innovative pilot projects. A further instrument includes the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships, which have enabled 14 Jordanian scholars to carry out research in Switzerland since 1968. Jordan is also a host and member state of the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) research infrastructure, in which Switzerland has had observer status since 2010. In addition to Jordan, other SESAME member states include Egypt, Israel, the occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Cyprus. The SESAME research centre houses the first particle accelerator in the Middle East to date and makes a significant contribution to peaceful development and scientific cooperation in the region.