Despite plans by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to cancel some exceptions for admission to the Kingdom’s medical schools, others will remain, according to a senior government official. Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Wajih Owais said residents of remote areas cannot be deprived from studying medicine because basic education in such regions is not at the same level as that in cities. “We have to create balance among different segments in our society as not all students are offered the same level of education,” Owais told The Jordan Times on Thursday, adding that decision makers will take these differences into account when drafting the new admission criteria for medical schools. He noted that a committee was formed recently to come up with the final admission criteria for medical schools to be implemented starting next year. The Tawjihi grade will no longer be the only qualifying factor for students wishing to attend one of the Kingdom’s four medical faculties, according to Owais. The proposed admission criteria will allow students to apply directly to a university instead of through the Unified Admission Committee. Students will have to sit for an admission exam, and those who pass will study pre-med for one year. Students who score the highest grades in the pre-med year will continue studying medicine. However, some exceptions will be adopted in this phase, according to Owais. “After selecting those who can continue studying medicine based on their grades, a quota will be allocated for students who passed the admission exam but did not achieve high scores in the pre-med year,” he explained, adding that the selection criteria for the quota will be based on standards to be set by the committee. However, students selected as part of this quota will have to return to their place of residence after graduation and serve there, the minister noted. Under the new admission criteria for medical schools, the quota allocated for children of employees of higher education institutions and members of the Higher Education Council will be cancelled.