An Overview of the National Higher Education Strategic Plan Dr. Fred M. Hayward Ministry of Higher Education January 25, 2011 Introduction: Key Elements To improve access to higher education. To double enrollments by 2014 from the 67,000 in 2008 to 135,000, of whom 115,000 would be in public higher education. To increase the quality of teaching, research, and service to the nation. To improve the quality of the faculty through PhD and Master’s training for over 1000 faculty as well as in service training to upgrade technical staff. To rehabilitate the infrastructure -- build additional classrooms, laboratories, computer labs, offices, and other facilities for 50,000 more students in public institutions. A goal is to hire as many as 1800 additional teaching faculty to accommodate increased access for students and to meet new critical needs while keeping the current average 25:1 student teacher ratio. To produce quality graduates relevant to the needs of the country. To encourage research which focuses on key issues and problems facing Afghanistan including its agriculture, business, mining, education and public sectors. To contribute to growth, national development and the personal well-being of the citizens of Afghanistan. Total cost: $564 million over five years Actual and Projected Total Higher Education Enrollments in Public, Private, and Community College 2005-2014 Actual and Projected Enrollment in Higher Education Universities and Institutions in Afghanistan: Public, Private, and Community Colleges 2005-2014 Public Universities and Institutes Private Universities 150,000 140,000 130,000 120,000 110,000 100,000 Community Colleges 90,000 80,000 Total Enrollment 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 - The Strategic Plan builds on: The Constitutional obligation of the state is to provide quality higher education to its citizens The Afghan National Development Strategy which sees higher education as one of its eight pillars. The Ministry of Higher Education’s commitment to develop a high quality higher education system relevant to national needs. Extensive consultation with universities, government officials, and donors. The realities of Afghanistan today. Vision for Higher Education A high quality public and private higher education system that responds to Afghanistan’s growth and development needs, improves public well-being, respects traditions, incorporates modern scientific knowledge, is well managed, and internationally recognized. The Mission To facilitate equitable access to higher education for all who are academically qualified; establish innovative institutions that provide high quality teaching, research, and service; produce graduates who are competitive in a global economy; contribute to economic growth, social development, nation building, and the stability of the country. Values: High Quality Tertiary Education Nation Building Ethics & Integrity Equity of opportunity Good Governance, Effectiveness & Efficiency Institutional Autonomy Public Accountability Two basic programs: I. II. To educate and train skilled graduates to meet the socio-economic development needs of Afghanistan, enhance teaching, research and learning and encourage service to the community and the nation. To lead and manage a coordinated system of higher education comprising universities, institutes, and community colleges dedicated to providing high quality tertiary education. I.1 Faculty & Staff Development Increase the number of faculty by 1800 to accommodate the growth of students to 115,000 by 2014. Increase staff by 800. Faculty professional development: Increase faculty with PhDs from 5.2% (in 2008 the base year) to 20% by 2014 which means training approximately 350 abroad during plan period. To raise the number with Master’s from 31% to 60% which will require training about 700 faculty and sponsored student abroad. Cost $63 million. Faculty Members by Academic Degree (2008) Number and Percentage of Faculty Members by Academic Degrees in Public Higher Education Universities and Institutions in Afghanistan PhD 134, 5.2% Master's 792, 30.8% Bachelors 1646, 64.0% Expand Master’s Programs in Afghanistan from five currently with goal of doubling the number by 2014 at comprehensive research universities. Improve teaching and learning with emphasis on both. Provide short courses and training. Encourage faculty exchanges to enhance teaching, learning, and research. Implement 2009 promotions policies emphasizing merit based decisions and transparency. Clarify the retirement policy and provide formal mechanisms to keep outstanding faculty beyond age 65. I.2 Curriculum enhancement and teaching material development Carry out a national needs assessment re: the curriculum Reform and broaden curriculum focusing on quality and state-of-the-art standards. Emphasize problem solving, discussion, and research for students. Emphasize English and other foreign language instruction. Promote textbook writing and translation in Dari and Pashtu. Encourage internships and professional practice for students I.3 Infrastructure Improvement Carry out a review of facilities and a needs assessment re: quality, increases in students & faculty Maintain a moratorium on new higher education public institutions except community colleges. Rehabilitation of existing facilities. We estimate the cost to be about $28 million over the plan period. Construction of new classrooms, laboratories, IT facilities, offices, etc. Estimated cost of $142 million Construction of new dorms and rehabilitation of some existing facilities with goal to accommodate 100% of eligible women students and 30% of students overall. Some cost recovery is envisioned. Cost est. $112 million. IT infrastructure and Higher Education Management System (HEMIS) to improve data management, coordination, and analysis. To establish system wide networks linking all campuses to the MoHE and the Internet. I.4 Research and Graduate Instruction Research Funding will be provided on a competitive basis to encourage faculty research. $5.7 million is sought to 2014. Have funds for next 3 years from World Bank. The MoHE will set up a research directorate to help raise funds and monitor programs. Universities are urged to create a culture of research on campus and partnerships with institutions abroad. Encourage the comprehensive research universities to develop graduate programs. II.1 Governance: Capacity building and reorganization at MoHE to oversee and monitor the strategic plan. Regular meetings between MoHE and higher education institutions. Have established a donors working group to enhance coordination and cooperation. Greater financial autonomy for institutions & the ability to establish foundations. Dependent on approval of H. Ed. Law. II.2 Access, Expansion & Structure More efficient use of facilities with morning, more evening, and vacation classes. Community colleges to fill a gap in training of mid-level technical students for positions now mostly filled by foreigners. Provide a two year Associates of Arts Degree (AA) transferable to universities. Build 5 Com. Colleges for 5000 students. Cost $26 million. Private higher education. Focus on quality assurance and access. Encourage non-profit sector. Require accreditation. Student services: MoHE will work to improve student services including counseling, mental health, health, and placement. Partial funding from World bank. Additional $1.8 million need to expand to all institutions. Students with special needs. Provision of services including access. Access to education. MoHE is committed to gender equity. It will encourage bridging programs for marginalized and underrepresented groups. II.3 National Admission Exam: Kankor Staff training to enhance effectiveness. Redesign exam to insure promising students in the arts and other areas are not disadvantaged. Assist higher education institutions in making catalogues, information on admission, rules & regulations, graduation requirements, available to student, parents, and the public. II.4 Quality Assurance & Accreditation MoHE began a self-assessment process for higher education institutions in 2010 to start the quality improvement process. Establish the Afghanistan Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency under umbrella of the MoHE but autonomous. Review all public & private institutions. Await H. Ed. Law. Work closely with universities & institutes. Authority will rest with a Board of academics & professionals appointed by the Minister. II.5 Funding Strategy Increase funding for higher education. MoHE plans to decentralize major financial and academic authority in keeping with efforts to improve quality and effectiveness Facilitate and encourage entrepreneurial higher education including cost-sharing. Work to reduce non-academic expenditures. Seek to develop a scholarship program for poor students in context of cost sharing. II.6 National Research & Education Network Establish a network linking all higher education institutions, MoHE, and Internet Develop data collection and analysis systems for Ministry and institutions. Facilitate expanded access to the Internet for faculty, students, and staff to all campuses. Establish a digital library available to faculty, staff and students Provide for user training. III. What does it mean for you? A high quality strategic plan in place Progressive, forward looking focused in improved quality, merit recruitment and promotions, more efficient administration. Positive reception of the Strategic Plan by funders and Kabul Conference. Hopefully will turn into actual funding. Req. $211 m. Donor response has been slow. Need to encourage their active funding. Upgraded teaching and learning, research and service important. Research for development focus. Opportunity for collaboration with universities abroad. Language requirement for new faculty. English emphasis. Faculty/staff development funding started. Will need a great deal of cooperation and assistance with outside universities for effective faculty development. IV. The challenges Funding request total – $560 million World Bank initial funding $20 million is first tranche. Working on 2nd and 3rd. Donor response to strategic plan positive but little funding to date. Capacity building started at the MoHE. MoHE will assist campus capacity building. Some faculty resistance (a world-wide tradition) but generally positive response. Fear of change Fear of competition Implementation at the national level Need to create a new kind of campus culture for faculty and students. That will be a major effort in which you can help. Need a new commitment to national development at the university level. Organization of the process at the MoHE. Higher education law needs approval. Need commitment at every level. Selling community colleges (2 years, AA and AS degrees). Important to protect U’s. Need assistance in making the case internationally. World Bank empirical evidence that no nation develops without a high quality higher education system Fragility of the current moment Problem of security Corruption Political uncertainty Fence sitters Building a future based on national and international investments to date. Faculty & staff can set the example with commitment to change. International commitments vital. You can help. Provide needed training here and in Afghanistan Embrace the new young faculty members with continued mentoring – e.g. U. Mass & Indiana Be a voice for the new order. It can be a bright future. Things are in place for that to happen. We all need to help make the case. Help create high ethical standards; if higher education is not about truth we are all in trouble (help bring an end to growth of plagiarism, favoritism, back stabbing). Be a role model for others. Take advantage of the process of institutional strategic planning and self-assessments to think about program transformation. V. Conclusions: You have tremendous opportunities now to help Afghan higher education. There are major challenges too that will require a great deal of tact and commitment on your parts You are in positions to influence the future at an exciting time and have an opportunity to make a major contribution to the transformation of Afghan higher education. Time is short. I don’t think there will be another opportunity. Thank you. Are there any questions.