June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.884.1 - 14.884.10
Modernizing Engineering Education at Herat University A Partnership between University of Hartford and Herat University
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 partnership began a total of 12 instructors from Herat University have begun graduate studies in Civil Engineering. In addition to their coursework leading to a master’s degree, they shadow UH instructors. Through this mentoring they are learning technological applications that are available (and that will be installed at HU via the World Bank funding), and are developing updated, student-centered course materials, assessment methodologies, and plans for continuing education and professional development strategies for when they return to HU. A number of the instructors also will be prepared to implement the Mechatronics and Architecture programs. These two curriculum areas have been developed collaboratively by HU and UH, and will begin running in late 2009 or early 2010.
This paper will 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.
Keshawarz, M. S., & Alnajjar, H., & Richards, B., & Sofizada, A. H. (2009, June), Modernizing Engineering Engineering Education At Herat University A Partnership Between University Of Hartford And Herat University Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5487
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