The Higher Education Council (HEC) has decided to increase by 150 the number of students accepted in the University of Jordan’s (UJ) branch in Aqaba for the 2011-2012 academic year, a senior government officials said on Thursday. Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Wajih Owais said the decision is in response to a demand by Aqaba residents. “Any student who completed the Tawjihi with an average of 65 per cent or more can apply directly to the Aqaba branch,” he told The Jordan Times following an HEC meeting. With these extra seats, the number of students enrolled in the UJ Aqaba branch will amount to 750. Meanwhile, despite promises by the ministry to find a solution for Jordanians studying medicine in Yemeni universities by September 15, no decision was announced on Thursday. “We need to know if our son will be accepted in a Jordanian university or not… all we hear are promises,” a mother of one of these students said. “I came all the way from Karak to meet with ministry officials and hear a clear-cut answer about the future of my son,” she said, noting that he scored 90 per cent in the Tawjihi exam, which qualifies him to study medicine at a local university. “The first semester in Jordanian universities will start on Sunday, so there is not much time left… the decision cannot be postponed,” she told The Jordan Times at the ministry. Last month, the ministry submitted the names of these students to the Prime Ministry and recommended that they be accepted at local universities, according to the Owais, who noted that “we are still waiting” for the response. Around 988 Jordanians who were pursuing their higher education in Yemen and cannot return due to the current situation in the country are awaiting the government’s decision to see if they will be allowed to join the Kingdom’s public universities. Of the total, 663 are medical and 68 are studying students dentistry.