Campus: San Diego State -- December 21, 2006

Afghanistan Awards $2 Million World Bank-Funded Contract to SDSU

Nangarhar University-based Program to Teach English and Technology Skills

The Ministry of Higher Education in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has awarded San Diego State University a nearly $2 million contract to assist Nangarhar University, located in Jalalabad, in re-establishing higher education programs.

The contract, funded by the World Bank, will establish a three-year project. During the project, SDSU will help Nangarhar University train faculty in English language instruction, develop a four-year English language program, create an International Learning Center and expand information technology resources.

Throughout the project, special seminars and lectures will be offered monthly through Nangarhar University's International Learning Center. A guest house is currently being built to provide housing for visiting faculty. Additionally, monthly computer and Internet training courses will be offered for faculty and students.

"This unique partnership is an opportunity to assist Nangarhar University and its community to find solutions that are their solutions," said SDSU Interwork Institute Director Fred McFarlane, who also serves as chair of the department of administration, rehabilitation and postsecondary education in the College of Education. "We hope to provide educational expertise and help them in achieving their goals."

SDSU and Nangarhar University began working together in March 2004 when Steve Brown and Fary Moini of the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club initiated contact with SDSU. SDSU Interwork Institute project coordinator Steve Spencer traveled to Afghanistan with Brown and Moini to provide initial training for faculty to use computers and Internet resources. The computer lab was privately funded through donations from Brown and John Moores, owner of the San Diego Padres.

Funding for the International Learning Center and guest house was also donated by Brown and Moores. These commitments helped establish the foundation for the partnership between Nangarhar University and SDSU.

In March 2005, SDSU and Nangarhar University established a five-year Memorandum of Understanding to provide the framework for seeking additional funding to support urgently needed program development at Nangarhar University.

"In February 2006, Nangarhar University Chancellor Amanullah Hamidzai visited SDSU," said SDSU President Stephen L. Weber. "During that meeting, we agreed to work together in submitting a proposal to the World Bank. SDSU and Nangarhar now have a great opportunity to work together in restoring and expanding higher education in Afghanistan."

Initial funding for the partnership was provided by SDSU's President's Leadership Fund and the Fred J. Hansen Institute for World Peace.

Contact: Lorena Nava, (619) 594-3952 office, lnava@mail.sdsu.edu


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