AMHERST, Mass. – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a $92 million, five-year contract to strengthen higher education in Afghanistan to a consortium headed by Family Health International that includes the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Education, Purdue University, the Afghan Holding Group and Altai Consulting.
David R. Evans, director of the College of Education’s Center for International Education (CIE), and Joseph B. Berger, the college’s associate dean for research and engagement, will manage a $23 million sub-award to the College of Education, and will provide leadership for all technical aspects of the project.
“The new project, ‘Afghanistan University Support and Workforce Development Program’ will build on the successes of our work with the Afghanistan Higher Education Project during the past eight years that focused primarily on faculties of education in 18 public universities,” said Evans. “Now, we will work with the Ministry of Higher Education and 10 Afghan universities to improve their capacity to deliver higher quality education that is more directly relevant to the needs of the current and future Afghan economy.”
“The new project will use a strategy of creating U.S.-Afghan and Afghan-Asian university partnerships to develop master’s degrees and new associate degrees, and to strengthen bachelor degree programs,” Berger said.
Two members of the project management team are Afghans who previously worked for the Afghanistan Higher Education Project in Afghanistan and are now completing their graduate degrees in the College of Education.