Institution Building in Afghanistan

Balkh Project

The Association Liaison Office for University Cooperation in Development (ALO) selected SIUC and UIUC to begin the task of fortifying the education of the faculty at Balkh University Faculty of Agriculture in Mazar-e-Sharif. The Balkh program not only again paired Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with UIUC but also included the NWFPAU to assist in developing knowledge, adopt more modern teaching skills, and increase resource materials.

Three and four member teams were sent to Afghanistan to assess physical and curriculum needs at the college, and worked to establish research farms in the country. The Faculty of Agriculture soon outpaced its growth of experienced faculty and had serious space limitations.

The two universities cooperated with the Northwest Frontier Province Agricultural University in Peshawar, Pakistan to develop training programs. In addition, new computers and printers, and reference materials were purchased in-country or shipped to Balkh University.

The one-year project was well received by the Balkh University faculty.