|Pashto: د کندهار پوهنتون|
|Chancellor||Professor Hazrat Mir Totakhil|
|Vice-Chancellor||Abdul Tawab Balakarzai|
|Students||5,000 (300 females)|
|Location||Kandahar, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan|
Kandahar University (Pashto: د کندهار پوهنتون; Persian: دانشگاه قندهار) is a government funded higher learning institution in Kandahar, Afghanistan. It is one of two universities in southern Afghanistan. Kandahar University (KU) was established in 1990, at a time when the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) was in power under President Mohammad Najibullah. Tooryalai Wesa, who returned to the country after 13 years and is governor of Kandahar province, was the first chancellor of Kandahar University.
Kandahar University provides study in Agriculture, Medicine, Engineering and Education. It has more than 5000 students including 300 girls in seven faculties. The university enrolls around 280 students each year through an entrance exam directly under the control of the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education.
Kandahar University was established in 1990 based on the national developing policy of the government in the education sector in the framework of the Ministry of Higher Education. At first it had only one faculty of agriculture. After that faculties of medicine, engineering, education, sharia law, economics and journalism were established in 1994, 2000, 2003, 2008, 2009 and 2012 correspondingly. In addition to that two faculties (Agricultural and Education) are established as a branch of Kandahar University in Helmand province. Currently, Kandahar University has around 5000 students and 162 full- and part-time professors. Out of 162 professors 28 have MSc and one has a PhD. The university has 1039 alumni from four faculties (agriculture, medicine, engineering and education). The university has night classes for students who are not able to attend during the day as well as in-service employees of public, private and NGOs.
Until 2003 the university did not have its own campus and was operating in a mobile form. It was got its current campus in 2003 which has the area of 93 hectares. The 13 buildings are mainly constructed for dormitory purposes (student housing facilities) which the university is providing, in addition to administration and academic purposes. KU has an agricultural research farm on the campus and a teaching hospital outside the campus which was transferred to the university from the Afghan National Army properties in Kandahar City at the request of the university and approval of President Hamid Karzai.
KU has established a center for IT which was supplied by NATO and university planned to connect it to optical fiber project. The university has 161 computers in 5 PC Labs for students’ use. The university does not have a proper central library due to the lack of infrastructure and instead of that has 8 small libraries in faculties and departments. There is no proper place of study for students and they have to manage it in their dorms or elsewhere which is difficult since each room is shared by 10 to 12 students. The curricula for different faculties are prepared considering the need of the country and global developments. The educational credit system is used in the faculties of medicine and education. Some basic labs are being prepared for carrying out some laboratory instruction in the faculties of education, agricultural, engineering and medicine.
The campus covers an area of more than 600,000 m2. It has 11 buildings, of which one is the Administration and Chancellor's office, four buildings for a hostel, one for each faculty and one for the Central Library. There is a separate girls' hostel. Other structures on the campus are the tomb of Allama Abdul Shakoor Rishad baba who was a writer, artist and poet of Afghanistan and a mosque located beside the university for attending the Eid prayers each year.
In 2008 the Canadian government built a 3-km perimeter of stone, brick and iron around the campus to address security concerns, which has been dubbed "the Great Wall of Kandahar". In 2012, with the assistance of the University of Arizona in the United States, Kandahar University began using solar energy for electricity.
The Agriculture faculty was the first in Kandahar University. The faculty offers a four-year agriculture program. Professor Shah Mahmood Barai is the Dean of this faculty from the beginning until now. The faculty enrolls around 250 students each year.
The faculty has six departments and selection is made at the third year of the course:
- Department of Agronomy
- Department of Soil Science and Irrigation
- Department of Horticulture, Jungles and Natural Resources
- Department of Plant Protection
- Department of Animal Husbandry
- Department of Agriculture Economy and Extension
Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Farm
Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Farm located beside the campus was established in 2004 by joint cooperation of ARLDF and the Agriculture Faculty. The farm is located in an area of 22,000 m2. The farm covers activities in the fields of Agronomy and Soil Science, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Plant Protection.
The Medical faculty was established in 1994, second at the university after the Faculty of Agriculture. The university has graduated 250 students in bachelor's degrees. It remained active throughout the years of civil war in Afghanistan when the opportunities for higher education was very limited. The faculty has a medical library and laboratory facilities. Medical students formerly intern at Mirwais Hospital, but the faculty now has its own teaching hospital. The students have to attend the hospital twice a week starting from the third year. The final year is an internship, where the students will receive hands-on patient experience. The Faculty of Medicine has ties with Kabul Medical Institute and Zahidan Medical College located in Zahidan of Sistan.
The Faculty of Civil Engineering was established in 2000. Till now, 290 students have graduated in the field of Civil Engineering. The University is eligible to enroll 150 students each year of which 20 are females.
Although each faculty has its library, there is a central library located in a three story building inside the university.
The central library is named after the writer of Afghanistan, Allamah Habibi. The library contains 42,000 books, most of which are in English language but some in Pashto and Dari. The library has a study room. Due to a lack of rooms and shelves in the building, most of the books are still stored in boxes.
Mostly the students coming to University are familiar with computers but the department provides extra skills in software use. First year students from each faculty get 2 credits a week to learn computers.
Laboratory and practice
Each faculty has a laboratory. Agriculture has three laboratories. Medical laboratories are not allowed to open up dead bodies but the students have practical work twice a week in Kandahar Medical faculty hospital. This hospital was recently inaugurated and came under control of the university (it was a Military hospital before). The students in the last year of the medical course intern at Mirwais Hospital which is a Zonal hospital located in Kandahar city.
The students have educational trips to other provinces. Recently Horticulture students of Agriculture faculty had an educational trip to Jalalabad. They visited Nangarhar University, to see their laboratory, agricultural fields and farms.
Kandahar University has a department of Publication. The university publishes magazines which cover educational, social, cultural, religious, and other issues. The university publishes the following magazines:
- Kandahar University: The first volume was printed in 2002. Mostly covers issues of Kandahar University.
- Shena Pana (Green leaf): first printed in 2008. The magazine belongs to the faculty of Agriculture and focuses on the development of this faculty as well as agricultural activities. Publishes once in three months.
- Anar: authored by Professor Shah Mahmood Barai, the Dean of Agriculture faculty. Covers matters of importance to farmers.
- Rogh Ramat (Healthy): First volume printed in 2007 is the magazine of the faculty of Medicine. The articles are about the health issues, diseases, hygiene, and activities of medicine faculty. This magazine is under authorization of Kandahar Medical Doctors Association.
- Naranj: first volume printed in 2008 is an educational magazine printed under the authorization of Kandahar University publication department.
Most of the students at Kandahar University live in a hostel. The campus has both boys' and girls' hostels. However, due to security issues, girls are not willing to live on campus and instead live in the city with their relatives. Four buildings are specified for boys' hostels. Each building consist about 44 rooms. The number of students varies from four to six per room because the current buildings are not enough for the number of students living in the hostel.
The hostel provides free food for the students under the budget of the Ministry of Higher Education. The problem the hostel has is lack of regular electricity, although there is a power generator but not enough fuel.
The credit educational system was introduced in medical and education faculties in October 2007. Credit is an educational system followed in USA, Europe and other countries around the world. A two days workshop was held by the Chancellor of KU and introduced the system to around 40 lecturers of the faculties.
Dean of Agriculture faculty (left) receives books of Soil Science
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