American University of Afghanistan

American University of Afghanistan

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The '''American University of Afghanistan''' ({{lang-ps|د افغانستان امريکايي پوهنتون}} / {{lang-fa|دانشگاه امریکایی افغانستان}}) ('''AUAF''') is [[Afghanistan]]’s first private, not-for-profit{{Citation needed|date=May 2010}} institution of higher education. Chartered in 2004, AUAF offers undergraduate degree programs as well as intensive [[English language|English-language]] college preparatory courses (the Foundation Studies Program) and continuing education and professional development training (the Professional Development Institute). The university is currently considering a proposal for launching graduate programs beginning in 2011. == History == The idea for AUAF began in 2002 with Dr. [[Sharif Fayez]], then Afghan Minister of Higher Education. During his time as minister, he proposed the creation of Afghanistan’s first-ever private university. The following year in an address before [[UNESCO]], United States First Lady [[Laura Bush]] announced her support of educational initiatives in Afghanistan. The United States Ambassador [[Zalmay Khalilzad]], likely inspired from his own experience at The American University of Beirut, encouraged the establishment of The American University of Afghanistan. [[File:Saleha Bayat Building at AUAF in Kabul-2.jpg|thumb|left|The Saleha Bayat Building at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) in [[Kabul]].]] The Afghanistan High Commission for Private Investment offered leases on two parcels of land totaling {{convert|48|acre|m2}} in the [[Karteh Seh|Kart-e-Seh]] area of Kabul until 2103. In addition, the non-profit [http://auaf.net/ American University of Afghanistan Foundation] was chartered in the State of Delaware (United States) under the leadership of Dr. Jacob van Lutsenburg Maas, who later became Foundation President, to receive these leases. (In 2007, the Foundation became a tax-exempt 501(c) 3 organization). A charter for the establishment of The American University of Afghanistan was granted on July 26, 2004 by the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education, under Article 46, Chapter 2 of the new Afghan Constitution and Article 445 of the Civil Code. A feasibility study was initiated by the [http://www.cciuniversities.org/ Coordinating Council of International Universities], based in the United States, to recommend an institutional framework. In December 2004, the inaugural meeting of the Board of Trustees convened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where Dr. Fayez was elected president pro tempore, serving in this capacity until April 2007, when he was named “founder” by the new president. He continues to lobby the Afghan government on the university's behalf, serves as an advisor to the current president, and maintains an office on campus. In March 2005, then United States First Lady (and former teacher) Laura Bush visited the site and announced a substantial grant from the [http://www.usaid.gov/ United States Agency for International Development] (USAID) to launch the institution. USAID continues to be the primary financial backer of the organization as it pursues sources of private funding. The first students of the American University of Afghanistan enrolled in March 2006. They began with Foundation Studies classes to improve their English language and study skills. The university that September began offering its first credit-bearing undergraduate courses. In 2006 the Professional Development Institute was also launched, providing adult professional courses and adult professional level programs. On June 8, 2008, Mrs. Bush announced an additional $40 million (USD) in funding for the subsequent five years. Funding will cover more than half of the university's operating expenses during that period, leaving the university to pursue private funding for the remainder of its operating expenses and for the development of its new campus. By the spring semester of 2011, AUAF enrolled over 780 students in its Foundation Studies Program and Undergraduate Program, with women accounting for more than 20% of the student body. The university's first graduation will occur at the end of the spring 2011 semester. == Programs == All programs are conducted entirely in English. The university runs on the U.S. semester system with the academic year starting in August, and in other respects also operates in the style of American universities. '''The Undergraduate Degree Program''' The American University of Afghanistan currently offers four-year undergraduate degree programs in business administration, information technology and computer science, and political science and public administration. Through required general studies in their first two years of undergraduate study, all students acquire knowledge in English composition, mathematics, the natural sciences, arts and humanities, and the social sciences. In fall 2008, [[Stanford Law School|Stanford Law School's]] [http://www.afghanistanlegaleducation.com/ Afghanistan Legal Education Project] was launched at the university. It provides introductory legal training that features the first new text in decades dedicated to the legal system in Afghanistan. Undergraduate tuition for Afghans is 9,200 Afs per credit hour, with an additional book rental fee of 600 Afs per course student fees of 2,000 Afs. Financial aid is available, and more than 70 percent of students receive some amount of financial aid. '''The Foundation Studies Program''' The Foundation Studies Program (FSP) prepares students for the high expectations of American-style, English-only university degree programs, and also develops the high-level English language skills necessary to take on major employment positions in Afghanistan or abroad. AUAF offers instruction in English through native English-speaking instructors from the [[United States]], [[United Kingdom]], [[Canada]], and [[South Asia]]. With satisfactory performance in the FSP, students can advance to the Undergraduate Program. '''The Professional Development Institute''' The American University of Afghanistan’s Professional Development Institute was established in 2006 to meet the training needs of professionals in Afghanistan and the region. It offers an array of high-impact, high-value training courses, workshops, and seminars to professionals from private sector, government, and non-governmental organizations working in Afghanistan and the region. In 2008 the Professional Development Institute joined with [[Goldman Sachs]] and the [[Thunderbird School of Global Management]] to implement a women's entrepreneurship training program. The program is part of a larger initiative, [[10,000 Women]], supported by Goldman Sachs. == Organization == The overall governance and management of AUAF is overseen by the Board of Trustees. The board has fiduciary responsibility for the university and makes all policy decisions to achieve its vision and mission. The board consists of leading members of the academic, business and political communities in Afghanistan and the United States. The president is the chief executive officer with responsibility for implementing the policies of the board and for the overall administration of the university. The president is assisted by two vice presidents: the VP for business and finance, who is the chief financial officer; and the VP for academic affairs, who is the chief academic officer. The first president of the university was president pro tempore [[Sharif Fayez]], Afghanistan Minister of Higher Education from 2004 to 2007. He was succeeded by [[Thomas M. Stauffer]], who resigned in 2008. The current president is [[C. Michael Smith]]. == Campus == The campus of the American University of Afghanistan is located on Darul Aman Road in the [[Karteh Seh|Kart-e-Seh]] area of [[Kabul]], [[Afghanistan]]. The current campus operates on the site of the former American International School of Kabul. A large tract of land immediately across the road from the current campus, and running south to the [[Darul Aman Palace|Dar-ul-Amman Palace]] in [[Karteh Seh|Kart-e-Seh]] is currently being developed for campus expansion. Principal academic buildings on the campus are the Azizi Building, which houses classrooms and faculty offices; the Bayat Building, which houses administration offices and classrooms; and the C Building, which houses the Bernice Nachman Marlowe Library, science and computer labs, and classrooms. The C building also contains a real-presence videoconferencing system that is used in collaborative classes with the American University of Central Asia. Other buildings on campus include the Bayat Gymnasium, the Faculty Office Building, the Dr. Marjorie Peace Lenn Student Affairs Building, and the AUAF Cafeteria. ==External links== *[http://www.auaf.edu.af/ The American University of Afghanistan - Official website] *[http://afghanistan.usaid.gov/en/Program.23a.aspx USAID/Afghanistan: Education Website] *[http://afghanistanlegaleducation.com/ Afghanistan Legal Education Project - Official Website] {{Afghan universities}} {{coord missing|Afghanistan}} {{DEFAULTSORT:American University Of Afghanistan}}