Ball State University Projects to Strengthen Higher Education in Afghanistan and Pakistan Dr. Kenneth Holland Director, Center for International Development Ball State University January 8, 2013 Hawaii International Conference on Education Ball State University • • • • Founded in 1918. Located in Muncie, Indiana. Student body of 22,000. Seven academic colleges and 47 academic departments offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 200 subjects. • Center for International Development established in 2010. Origin of Funding • In spring 2009, newly elected President Barack Obama announced a “civilian surge” to strengthen the government of Afghanistan. • President Obama stated that the instability in Afghanistan cannot be separated from instability in Pakistan. • In the subsequent appropriation, the U.S. Congress provided funds to the State Department to support partnerships between U.S. and Afghan and Pakistani universities. Purpose of Academic Partnerships • Congressional funding was provided to the State Department under the Fulbright-Hays Act, whose purpose is to foster “mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries.” • This initiative, therefore, falls under the Public Diplomacy efforts of the State Department. not the United States Agency for International Development, which has a separate higher education assistance program. Afghanistan and Pakistani Partnership Grants • The State Department awarded grants to U.S. universities to link up with Afghan institutions beginning in 2010. • The State Department awarded grants to U.S. universities to link up with Pakistani institutions beginning in 2012. Afghan Partnerships, Awarded 2010-2012 U.S. University Afghan University Discipline Ball State University Kandahar University Career Services and Entrepreneurship Ball State University Khost University Journalism Ball State University Six Afghan Universities English Language Training San Jose State University Balkh University Journalism San Jose State University Herat University Journalism The University of Arizona Nangarhar University Journalism The University of Nebraska- Kabul University -Omaha Journalism Indiana University Kabul Education University Establishing a Master’s degree program in TESOL Indiana University Ministry of Higher Education Implementing a National English Curriculum Pakistani Partnerships, Awarded 2012 U.S. University Pakistani University Discipline Ball State University Quaid-i-Azam University American Studies Ball State University Isra University Business Administration San Jose State University Allama Iqbal Open University Distance Education The University of Texas-Austin Fatima Jinnah Women’s University Southern Methodist University Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University Behavioral Sciences and Communication and Media Studies Psychology The University of North Texas National University of Modern Languages English The University of Kentucky Consortium of Five Universities in the KPK Province University of Gujrat Business Administration The University of Oklahoma Mass Communications and Media Areas of Collaboration • Faculty exchange – Ball State faculty go to Afghanistan, Pakistan and third countries, such as Malaysia, to conduct workshops – Afghan and Pakistani faculty come to Ball State for workshops • Student exchange – Afghan and Pakistani graduate students come to the U.S. and Malaysia – No Ball State students have gone to Afghanistan or Pakistan Areas of Collaboration • • • • • Joint research Improvement in library services Curriculum development Teaching by Digital Video Conferencing (DVC) Updating teaching methods (from lecture method to student-centered approach) • Improvements in academic administration Levels of Funding and Project Duration • The initial grant is typically for $1 million • Project duration is typically three years • The U.S. embassies in Kabul and Islamabad, however, can add funds and extend the project duration • Some projects have grown to $1.4 million and received a one-year extension Sustainability • In Afghanistan, the U.S. embassy requires that the projects be Afghan-led, support transition of lead responsibility for security from the U.S. to Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and be sustainable • Sustainability is also a goal of Public Diplomacy grants in Pakistan USAID Funding • Funding is also available from USAID to support the development of higher education in Afghanistan and Pakistan • Ball State does not yet have USAID funding but is exploring opportunities in both countries • USAID projects tend to be much larger than State Department ones World Bank and Asian Development Bank Funding • Two International Financial Institutions, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, also support the strengthening of higher education in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) • Ball State has submitted two proposals for World Bank funding in Afghanistan, totaling $6.4 million Challenges • More than 80% of university teachers in Afghanistan only have a bachelor’s degree. • Salaries are very low at Afghan universities. • Universities in both countries are underresourced. • Internet is unavailable or slow in Afghanistan. • Because of security concerns, movement in the two countries can be difficult and expensive. • Afghanistan presents a language barrier. Future of State Department Opportunities to Partner with Universities in Developing Countries • The Public Affairs Section of U.S. embassies in several post-conflict countries and emerging democracies, including Burma, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are interested in supporting people-to-people diplomacy, including partnerships with U.S. universities. • These linkages are a proven vehicle for promoting mutual understanding between the American people and the peoples in these nations critical to the world’s stability. • In 2013, there will be a new emphasis on public diplomacy in sub-Saharan Africa, in order to forestall the spread of al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist influences. Conclusion • Ball State University is one of the nation’s leading universities in the development of the higher education sector in post-conflict countries and emerging democracies. • Ball State’s Center for International Development is expected to grow substantially in the near future to meet these challenges, so important to the national interest of the United States.