June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.176.1 - 15.176.10
An Update on the Partnership Between University of Hartford and Herat University to Boost Engineering Education Abstract
In 2007, the University of Hartford College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture, in West Hartford, Connecticut began a partnership with the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Herat, in Herat City, Afghanistan. The goals of the project are to use a combination of curriculum revision and development, faculty development, distance learning and collaborative projects, and local/internal partnerships to establish the Herat University Faculty of Engineering at the preeminent Engineering program for Western Afghanistan.
Once a part of Kabul University, the Faculty of Engineering became a permanent part of Herat University in 2004. After functioning in Kabul for approximately 20 years, the Engineering program was closed following the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. The program also temporary relocated to Pakistan in the 1990s. Although the university was officially open in Herat City during the civil war years, programming and resources were extremely limited. Many of those constraints remain in place as the new Afghan government seeks to rebuild Afghanistan’s Higher Education System.
The partnership between University of Hartford (UH) and Herat University (HU) was accepted for funding by the World Bank in 2007 with additional funding from USAID. Before the partnership began, all the engineering instructors at HU had bachelor’s degrees only, with extremely limited opportunities for graduate study or professional development, including technology in the classroom, pedagogical innovations, and student-centered learning.
Since the papers on the subject was presented at the 2009 ASEE Annual Conference in Austin, there has been noticeable progress that will be the subject of this paper. Eleven Herat University professors attended the ASEE conference in Austin. Five faculty members from Herat University completed their masters’ degrees, two completed their coursework and are conducting their final research work in Afghanistan. All seven returned to Herat, Afghanistan to resume full time teaching. Four new professors arrived in Hartford in July, making the current total number of Herat professors at Hartford ten. The Architecture and Mechatronics curricula are finalized. This paper will also address the key successes achieved as well as the challenges encountered in developing a robust partnership between countries with such different histories, cultures, educational philosophies, and resources.
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