Being A Student In Afghanistan: 2016 vs 2017 – What Has Changed?

In recent years, Afghanistan has experienced one of the most turbulent periods in its history. As the country tries to regain some normality and bring about greater stability, young people are returning to academic study in an attempt to forge a better future for themselves. There have been a number of initiatives which have focused on improving K-12 university education with a special emphasis on education and training for young people.

War-torn Afghanistan has a very limited number of established institutes for University students. The university in Kabul is just one of the universities that have recently reopened. When it reopened in March 2017, several strategies were introduced to enhance the safety of students including a blast-proof concrete wall surrounding the building. In addition, there have been a series of changes to education in Afghanistan. Many of these changes have been a result of significant assistance from donors and funding bodies throughout the world.

International Scholarships

In 2017, the government have further increased the opportunities for students in Afghanistan. Most notably, they have provided them with an incredible opportunity to study abroad for the first time. Starting with the 2017-2018 academic year, India will provide annually 1000 scholarships in its universities for students coming from the war-torn country. The scheme includes Undergraduate, Postgraduate, and PhD courses. In addition, the UK, Canada, USA, and Australia are similar powerful economies that welcome a number of students from developing nations including Afghans.

Greater Choice

University students now have more choice when it comes to studying. Universities are now offering programs such as a Bachelor degree in Food Technology, a Masters in Public Policy or a Masters in Business Administration.

  • Establishment of Career Centers

To facilitate the transition from university into the world of work, students are offered advice from dedicated career centres. At these career centres, they can find information and advice on everything to do with employment including job skills, applying for work and job search. There are now careers centres at eight universities in Afghanistan.

Subsidized Higher Education

To attract students from impoverished backgrounds, Government has significantly subsidized the University education in 2017. With universities like AUAF now offering subsidies of up to 75% and free education for qualifying students.

International Support

Afghanistan’s higher education system is still dependent on international funding, especially from the United States. Trump’s “America First” threatens to change the situation in 2017 by limiting the aid given to the Islamic country. With a literacy rate of 38.2% according to UNESCO and almost half of its population under the age of 15, Afghanistan needs to find a quick solution to its educational problem to avoid a future disaster.

The Afghanistan government has pledged support for increasing the number of enrolled students in 2017. These policies and continuing support from international agencies, mean that Afghanistan students now have access to many more opportunities in 2017 in comparison with 2016. The number of programs has increased and, with subsidized fees, students can attend highly respected universities to obtain an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.

2017 has seen a number of positive changes for students in Afghanistan and, as the country continues to rebuild, it will be able to further develop its educational offering to improve the prospects for young people.

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