Theme 3: Improving the Qualifications and Skills of University Staff Members
Under this theme, the number of academic staff members who are qualified to at least Master’s Degree level will be substantially increased. Special attention for support will be given to: (a) academic staff from degree programs identified as priorities for economic development; and (b) female academics. Scholarships will target faculty staff of public universities and will be restricted to full-time, regularly employed faculty staff. Cost effectiveness and the quality of Master’s degree programs will be considered when selecting universities for study. Cultural factors in Afghanistan create a preference among many female academics to pursue their postgraduate studies in-country. In such cases, blended formulae will be used where possible, to combine overseas and in-country study in partnership with foreign universities. Scholarship awardees will be bonded by an obligation to work in Afghan universities after graduation. It is expected that at least 300 scholarships will be awarded over the Project implementation period. The program will be organized in parallel with the recruitment of new staff so that the absence of faculty staff pursuing full time study will not create an excessive shortage of teachers. The development of the universities will also require the skills of technical staff, such as laboratory and ICT technicians and librarians, to be upgraded. Under this theme, the MoHE will support the improvement of the quality of university technical staff through suitable short-term skills upgrading programs, organized mainly through the SDCs.