Higher Education Project (HEP)

Overview

The rapid expansion of university education since 2002 has placed extra demands on an education system much in need of development.  Universities must have the facilities and skills to train leaders in education and to improve the quality of education at every level throughout Afghanistan.  USAID established the Higher Education Project (HEP) to help address these needs by building sustainable capacity at the tertiary level and by developing capacity at the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) to develop and implement the National Higher Education Strategic Plan 2010-2014.  Both USAID and the MOHE credit HEP with successfully contributing to improving the quality of Higher Education instruction and learning in Afghanistan. 

In 2005-2006, USAID designed HEP in collaboration with the MOHE, Academy for Educational Development, Indiana University, and the University of Massachusetts.  In 2011, USAID extended the project and the University of Massachusetts became the sole implementer.  During the extension period, HEP has focused on developing the leadership and management capacity at the MOHE and public universities, establishing two graduate degree programs at universities in Kabul, and further developing and expanding Professional Development Centers for Faculties of Education at selected public universities.  The project also supports the MOHE in establishing standards in teacher education and promoting a coordinated national strategy for teacher education and certification.

Activities

  • Facilitating training for more than 1,351 education faculty members in curriculum and lesson planning, computer literacy, English, natural sciences, and mathematics
  • Developing an expanded pool of faculty members who can undertake leadership responsibilities through their Institutional Development Teams
  • Sponsoring study abroad programs in education management, English as a second language, and institutional leadership and planning
  • Designing and offering an Afghan Master’s of Education (M.Ed) to produce professional university and secondary school educators
  • Designing and offering an Afghan Master’s of Public Policy and Administration (M.P.P.A.) to develop leaders in government and the private sector

Results

  • Established Professional Development Centers in 15 institutions
  • Provided more than 4,000 training opportunities in the areas of pedagogy, English, computer literacy, institutional development, science, mathematics, leadership, and syllabus and course design
  • Prepared and implemented Institutional Development Plans for the universities
  • Sponsored 99 faculty members for short-term study abroad programs in order to enhance capacity at their institutions
  • Sponsored 19 faculty members for Master’s degrees in the United States
  • Established Afghanistan’s first M.Ed program that has graduated 87 students, half of whom are women
  • Established Afghanistan’s first M.P.P.A. program that admitted its first cohort of 10 male and 10 female students in August 2012

Last updated: September 30, 2013

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