Bacha Khan International University A gateway to academic Afghanistan
By Pashtana Durrani-Handful civil society members have started struggle for establishing Bacha Khan International University. The initial concept note was written by Khan Wali Khan Basharmal, an educationist and a political economist engaged in Afghan and International sphere while writing on relevant concepts and strategies. Later this concept note was supported by his fellows Faizullah Ghamkhor, Mujahid Shah Karimi, and Abdul Rahman Khan. Simultaneously, the same concept paper was share with national, regional and international sympathizers of education and development in Afghanistan. Internationally, the key role was played by an American scholar Anna Swadling and many others. Fortunately, it was taken and presented by Khan Wali Khan Basharmal to the President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. The concept note received a warm welcome and it was appreciated by the President and many other regional and international scholars.
For the sake of such an ambitious educational project, the Afghan community finds strength in the knowledge that the President Ashraf Ghani has himself earned a sterling reputation as an international scholar, having taken a doctorate from Columbia University, received a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, and served on the faculties of several universities, including U.C. Berkley and Johns Hopkins, prior to his taking the chancellorship at Kabul University. Our President’s demonstrative interest in the benefits of higher education for the welfare of the nation sustain our hope that he will help to enable the realization of our goal and further practical pathways for facilitating the establishment of Bacha Khan International University.
The institution intends to specialize in the liberal arts as well as social and contemporary sciences and hopes to become a model university for the SAARC, the Arab League, the OIC and the entire region. It would be an international university, welcoming students from India, Pakistan, the Maldives, Sudan, Nigeria, Nepal, Middle East, the Central Asia and the entire world to come and study. The university’s pronounced ambition is to become a catalyst for enlightenment, economic prosperity, temperance, and regional harmony, while engineering a significant decrease in the persistence of uninformed fundamentalism. The natural beauty of the area will work to attract students as well as tourism and thus give rise to new levels of tolerance and understanding while engendering modes of peacefully resolving differences rather than fostering a resort to rifles and religious bigotry.
Bacha Khan International University will make valuable contributions in policy, management, leadership and conflict resolution for the region and for Afghanistan. Its research and studies centers will conduct training with regard to capacity building, host national and international workshops and hold conferences on the economy, human rights, and regional and international dispute resolution. The university will also participate in designing complex research initiatives and planning mega projects in order to solicit grants and international funding in the interests of the region and the Afghan nation. The university will take its place in the constellation of regional and international universities, research centers, think tanks and academies pursuing conflict resolution, good governance, and the promotion of educational opportunities and human rights. It will seek to further regional stability and economic prosperity, offering progressive tactical and strategic solutions to endemic problems. The university will make every attempt to keep tuition fees to a minimum, while endeavoring to attract funding from a variety of national and international sources in order to establish and maintain its self-sufficiency.
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