La Trobe making connections in Afghanistan (Issue 14, 2012)

MOU signingOn 9 July 2012, La Trobe University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kabul University in Afghanistan – the first MOU to ever be signed between a university in Kabul and an international university.

The Ambassador of Afghanistan, HE Mr Nasir Andisha, with the support of his government, came to La Trobe’s Melbourne campus to sign the MOU on behalf of Kabul University following an Afghani Flag Presentation that took place on 4 July 2012.

The MOU is intended as a small gesture of recognition and friendship by La Trobe towards a fellow university in a country that has suffered greatly over the past 30 years.

La Trobe is a popular university with Afghanis, with 10 Afghani students sponsored by AusAID and one other here studying various qualifications. One of these students, Fariduddin Ahmaduddin is studying a MBA/Master of Telecommunication. While at an international function at La Trobe, he noticed the national flag of Afghanistan was not on display. After resolving to rectify the situation, he visited his homeland and purchased a flag for the University and formally presented it to Professor John Rosenberg, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at a ceremony on 4 July 2012.

The flag was flying during the MOU signing ceremony.

During the ceremony, Ambassador Andisha thanked La Trobe University for their hospitality and went on to explain that this was a historical day for Afghanistan.

‘Kabul University is very excited about the MOU and is now actively pursuing relationships with other countries. They are very enthusiastic about using this MOU to lead further cooperation, as education is a very important sector in Afghanistan – it is seen to be the basis of the future,’ says Ambassador Andisha.

‘There are now eight million children in schools, $2.5 million are girls and these children will need to go on to tertiary education. The government of Afghanistan has increased its scholarship budget to $2 million and are keen to work with universities around the world.’

Professor John Rosenberg, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at La Trobe University said he was delighted to welcome His Excellency, Ambassador Andisha to La Trobe University and to commence a relationship with Kabul University.

‘I would like to extend a welcome to academics from Kabul University to come to La Trobe to meet with their counterparts – with a view to develop relationships, possible research collaborations and help to get things started,’ says Professor Rosenberg.

The MOU was translated into three languages; Dari, Pashto and English and copies will be held by Kabul University, La Trobe University and the Embassy of Afghanistan.

If you would like to find out more about La Trobe's exchange partners, visit latrobe.edu.au/international/edabroad/exchange/partners

About Kabul University
Kabul University is the oldest and largest tertiary institution in Afghanistan, having opened its doors under the previous monarchy in 1930. It seeks to involve international friends and Afghani expatriates in a program of change and reform to overcome damage done in past years.