Collaboration with Herat University Partnership Progress
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Collaboration with Herat University Partnership Progress

Infrastructure

2006

September 2006

  • Steering committee selects University of Hartford to assess current situation at Herat University and propose ways to improve engineering education through partnership between the two universities.

Herat University Statistics

  • More than half of current male students and 75% of current female students are at the freshman and sophomore levels. The trend of significantly increased enrollments are expected to continue.

  • Eleven full-time and seven part-time professors share teaching and administrative duties.

  • The program follows a standard engineering curriculum and uses primarily U.S. textbooks as technical references; graduates receive the BSCE degree and have been successful in finding employment in Afghanistan.

October 2006

  • At the invitation of Herat University, a University of Hartford team traveled to Kabul and Herat. Team members were: Dr. Saleh Keshawarz, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Dr. Hisham Alnajjar, Assistant Dean, Chair, and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Dr. Ivana Milanovic, Chair and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

  • The team met in Kabul with the Minister of Higher Education, the SHEP Steering Committee, and the Senior Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and the World Bank, Mr. Abdulhai Sofizada.

  • The team also met in Herat with the Chancellor of Herat University, Dr. M. Naim Assad; Vice Chancellor, Mr. Rahyab; Dean of Engineering, Mr. Abdullah Kazemi; Chair of Civil Engineering, Mr. Azizurahman Azimi; and engineering faculty.

  • While on the Herat University campus, the team toured laboratories, storage facilities, and libraries; conducted classroom visits; reviewed exams and projects; and evaluated some of the curriculum revision taking place. Later they visited the new, under construction campus site for Herat University; the engineering building is the first scheduled to be completed.

  • Team members also met with current engineering students; Professor Milanovic met with female students, who currently make up about 13% of total engineering enrollment.

  • After these activities, the team met again with Chancellor Assad and presented findings of their visit. On their return to Kabul, the team presented their findings to the Minister of Education, the SHEP Steering Committee, and the World Bank liaison advisor.

2007

  • Civil engineering program at Herat University enrolls more than 300 students, about 11% of whom are women (a key goal of the Ministry of Education's plan for higher education).

  • More than half of current male students and 75% of current female students are at the freshman and sophomore levels. The trend of significantly increased enrollments are expected to continue.

  • Eleven full-time and seven part-time professors share teaching and administrative duties.

  • The program follows a standard engineering curriculum and uses primarily U.S. textbooks as technical references; graduates receive the BSCE degree and have been successful in finding employment in Afghanistan.

2008

Progress for the partnership between Herat University and University of Hartford consists of:

  • Three junior faculty from HU are currently enrolled at UH, have completed their English language training, and have begun engineering coursework.

  • March 2008 Professor Keshawarz spent two weeks in Afghanistan to evaluate program progress and facilitate entry of Afghan faculty into the U.S.

  • May/June 2008 University of Hartford faculty Keshawarz, Alnajjar, and Richards:

    • spent one month in Herat doing program analysis, co-teaching courses, providing faculty development, and conducting research with partners at HU.

    • Keshawarz worked with the civil engineering department to further refine courses, encourage student-centered teaching philosophies, and conduct joint research with junior faculty.

    • Alnajjar worked to set up computer lab and mechatronics lab space and equipment, update mechatronics curriculum, and provided a faculty development workshop on assessment.

    • Richards worked with the engineering instructors teaching English and with HU English Literature department to evaluate the program, develop course outlines and materials, and help build a service relationship between the engineering and literature departments

June 2008

  • equipment for the distance learning center arrived at Herat University and was installed, along with tables for the engineering computer lab; bids are being accepted at HU for computers and other equipment for the computer lab and library.

  • a revised mechatronics curriculum was submitted to the HU department of engineering for review and approval.

August 2008

  • three additional HU faculty arrived at UH to begin English-language training, in preparation for engineering coursework.

  • HU faculty attended a presentation by the UH Dean of College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture that explored possible engineering applications and opportunities for Herat province and Afghanistan.

  • UH and HU faculty, representatives from UH administration, and World Bank representative met at UH to evaluate project progress.

2009 and 2010

July 2009

  • UH faculty Professor Keshawarz and Professor Filburn met with local architects and stakeholders in Herat in July 2009 to finalize the architecture curriculum.

  • Prototype studio tables for architecture lab were ordered

  • Lists of equipment needed for labs and books needed for library and curriculum were developed

Fall 2009/Winter 2010

  • Professor Keshawarz worked in Herat continuing development of curriculum and overseeing logistics, providing faculty development, and conducting research.