Sayed Ahmad Javid Mussawy

I grew up in an educated family in Afghanistan that believed in the value of education as a venue for better living. Our country was in a war zone, people had limited access to education; I never gave up attending school, as I completed high school in 2001. My interest in teaching and learning led me to complete a diploma program in English language and I started teaching English in the second year of my undergraduate program. I started college education in 2002 and finished in 2006. Having completed my bachelor degree in English language and literature, I applied and got a job as a faculty member at Baghlan University.


In Spring 2007, I applied for a competitive master’s degree scholarship funded by USAID’s Higher Education Project (HEP), and I was admitted to the Center for International Education (CIE), School of Education, University of Massachusetts in Fall 2007. I finished my Master’s degree and returned to Baghlan University in Afghanistan in 2010, and served in successive positions as: a faculty member, the English department chair, the institutional development team leader, and most recently, as the Vice Chancellor for academic affairs.


I was the Vice Chancellor for academic affair for six years. During that time I learned a lot about leadership and management, program design, strategy development, and team work. Knowledge and skills that I acquired during my master’s program at the Center for International Education, in fact, gave me skills and tools that helped me work efficiently. My responsibilities varied from developing new programs, overseeing the curricula revision, supervising faculty’s instruction, approaching external and internal funding agencies, to recruiting teachers and staff. Our efforts at Baghlan University paid off as we increased the number of colleges from two in 2010 to seven colleges in 2015. In addition, we established an evening shift program that functioned in seven departments.   


In 2011, I established the Nawandishan Education Center where we offered courses in English language skills, computer skills, and development courses for university admission. Through this center, I implemented a two year English program, Access Micro-Scholarship, funded by the US Embassy in Kabul. We enrolled a population of 200 students aging 14-18. In addition, I held part time positions teaching English language at some private universities and NGOs. In sum, working at various positions and being involved in various academic and administrative activities, I faced a lot of challenges and barriers that needed more skills and expertise beyond my immediate knowledge.  I therefore, felt an urgent need to learn more theoretical knowledge and skills to better perform my duties and be more effective in improving higher education status in my country.


My goal for my doctoral program at UMass Amherst is to learn additional theoretical and practical knowledge of leadership and management, particularly focused on the challenges in developing policies and implementation of programs of higher education in developing countries such as Afghanistan.


In 2019 I completed the data collection for my dissertation in Afghanistan and returned to campus.  Since returning, my article -  The Challenges of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Afghanistan: A Policy Implementation Analysis was published in the Journal of Comparative and International Higher Education.


More recently I have published two articles with Professor Gretchen Rossman.   One in the Journal, Quality in Highe Education, entitled Quality assurance and accreditation in Afghanistan: Exploring sensemaking and sensegiving in policy implementation and another in Higher Learning Research Communications on Perceptions and Experiences of Classroom Assessment: A case study of a public university in Afghanistan. [10-21] 




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On-Campus Student