UTS responds to Afghan academic's plea for support
With the horrific Kabul bombing last week, stability for Afghanistan still seems a long way off. Despite that, the University of Technology Sydney is backing educational progress with a plan to establish PhD programs in several Afghan universities.
"A strong civil society is key to stability. And we develop strong civil societies by enhancing the capacity of citizens through access to quality education," said UTS Executive Director, Social Justice, Verity Firth.
"That's what these PhD programs will do for the best and brightest in Afghanistan."
The decision comes following a visit to UTS by Chair of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, Dr Sima Samar, and a delegation from the Gawharshad Institute of Higher Education. The Institute, founded by Dr Samar, has provided educational opportunities for women in the face of war, Taliban repression and social upheaval.
The PhD program initiative follows years of UTS support for Afghan education, in particular creating new scholarships through intensive fundraising. The relationship with the Institute began in 2013 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding.
Associate Professor Nina Burridge from the School of Education said that the visit provided the opportunity to deepen collaboration at the teaching and research level.
UTS academics will develop a proposal for a partnership with the institute and at least two other universities in Kabul to establish PhD programs.