First Graduates from Business Accounting at Balkh University

The first-ever Associate Degree in Business Accounting in Afghanistan was started in October, 2017 with 20 students (2 females) at Balkh University. In December, 2020, all twenty students successfully graduated from the program. The program was officially handed over to Balkh University on July 16, 2019 which continued to run the program after completion of the USAID-supported USWDP project that introduced Associate Degree programs into universities in Afghanistan. 


The Associate Degree program in Business Accounting provides educational opportunities for individual growth, building accounting skills and enhancing analytical and financial capabilities. Afghanistan has a critical shortage of mid-level technical and professional specialists in finance and accounting. As a result, most of these positions are filled by foreigners, especially in banks and major businesses. The Associate Degree in Business Accounting can fulfill this need to a great extent by producing local accountants and financial specialists. Notably, 15 out of the 20 graduates had already found employment by early 2021.


USWDP partnered with CIE at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) to provide technical support for the design and implementation of the program. With the assistance from the UMass and short-term technical consultants from three US-based community colleges, the program produce the curriculum and syllabi for all the Associate Degrees and helped get them approved by MoHE.


The faculty members received intensive training over a period of two years. UMass provided five professional training workshops on “Development of Associate Degree Programs in Business Administration” for over 10 faculty members. Twenty-six faculty members from three Business Associate degrees programs took part in two International Professional Exchange programs in Jordan and Vietnam. Regular online training and in-country training were also provided by UMass and US-based community college faculty members. These training sessions not only helped the Afghan faculty to learn modern teaching techniques but also to learn about the development of associate degree programs, curriculum design, and research. 


In order to provide an appropriate academic environment for both faculty and students, USWDP reconditioned and equipped the facilities at the universities where AD programs were started.  The new facilities included two classrooms, a learning office, a program office, and a faculty meeting room. In addition it provided over 100 needed textbooks for each provincial AD program.


[Reported by Hassan Aslami, the USWDP Senior Manager for Associate Degrees]


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