Master’s Degree in Education – A Decade of Success

Reported by Mujtaba Hedayet


The 8th cohort of the Master’s in Education (M.Ed.) program graduated on September 13, 2018 from Shaheed Rabbani Education University (SREU) in Kabul. This cohort of 24 students consisted of four women and 20 men, all of whom are faculty members at Afghan public universities. The 8th cohort was funded by the University Support and Workforce Development Program (USWDP) to support the goal of increasing the number of faculty members with graduate degrees.  This program is noteworthy example of a new degree program that has now been sustained over more than a decade and has produced more than 170 graduates.


The M.Ed. program was established at SREU (then called Kabul Education University) in 2007 by UMass CIE as a key component of the first Higher Education Project (HEP). UMass continued to support the M.Ed. program under the second HEP program until it was officially handed over in December 2011. Under the direct support of HEP 1 and HEP 2, a total of 65 students (50% women, and about 50% from outside of Kabul) graduated from the first three cohorts (2nd cohort pictured right), and new students were admitted to the fourth and fifth cohorts.  


The M.Ed. program was significant in enrolling a large proportion of women who are often precluded from study abroad by their families and traditional culture. Additionally, because the program was taught in Dari, faculty members who could not study overseas because of the lack of proficiency in English were able to gain Master’s degrees.  It also provided expanded opportunities for faculty members from all provinces of Afghanistan to benefit from the program.


All graduates of the M.Ed. program have returned to their faculty positions at universities in different parts of the country where they introduced new learning initiatives and modern teaching methodologies to their campuses. At least 20 graduates of the program were subsequently promoted to leadership positions at their universities as Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Department Heads, and Program Directors.


The M.Ed. program also served as a model for creating other graduate programs in the country. Some of the policies and documents developed for the M.Ed. program have been adopted and used by other universities initiating master’s degrees in Afghanistan.


Under HEP, UMass also worked with the Ministry of Higher Education to develop the Graduate Education By-laws and the High Commission for the Organization of Master’s Programs to regulate graduate studies in Afghanistan.


Since being handed over, the M.Ed. program has been managed by the Graduate Studies Center (GSC) at SREU. UMass helped to establish the GSC in 2007 and built the capacity of its staff over time to enable the Center effectively manage the various administrative and academic activities of graduate programs. Recently, UMass provided additional technical support to SREU to upgrade the GSC to a Graduate Education Directorate (GED), which was inaugurated in April, 2018. The GED is now managing three master’s degree programs at SREU.    



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