New England Public Radio speaks with David Evans about associate degree program in Afghanistan.

UMass International Ed Team Spearheads Associate Degree Program in Afghanistan

A group of faculty and graduate students at UMass Amherst is beginning to develop a network of associate degree programs in Afghanistan. With an 11.2 million dollar U.S. AID grant, the team is designing administrative and teaching strategies for what will be the country's first ever two-year degree option.

David Evans has been to Afghanistan three times in the past five months. Since his program's inception seven years ago, he's been co-leading a team to launch the first masters degree programs in Afghanistan in almost thirty years. Evans says demand for higher education is infinitely higher than the country's capacity to educate. He says the newest program -- a masters in public policy and administration -- received 350 applications for twenty spaces.

"And the applicants were not sort of your average Joe off the street. They were members of parliament, close relatives of members of parliament, senior officials in various ministries."

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