UMass earns grant worth $9.9 million

By Collegian News Staff

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The Center for International Education (CIE) at the University of Massachusetts’ School of Education has been awarded a one-year, $9.9 million grant to make higher education in Afghanistan more accessible.

According to a release, the grant is from the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the “project is part of an overall program to rehabilitate and strengthen the education system throughout Afghanistan.” UMass was asked to “assume primary responsibility for overseeing the entire project.”

UMass’ CIE has worked closely as one of the partners in the consortium with the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) and other faculty members in education to offer four-year teacher education programs for workers in Afghanistan, stated the release. The release also said UMass, along with other institutions of higher education, will work with the higher education ministry and 18 Afghan universities to focus on improving their ability to train secondary school teachers.

“CIE has a 40-year history of highly effective work with developing nations,” said Christine McCormick, dean of the School of Education in a release. “We are very proud that the center has been selected to work with Afghan institutions to build educational capacity in the essential areas of training teachers and improving access to quality education.” The CIE has spent over the last five years working in Afghanistan under the guidance of the Academy for Educational Development.

According to the release, the same UMass officials that have been working in Afghanistan for five years will lead efforts made in this new initiative.

CIE Director David Evans and Joseph B. Berger, chair of the department of educational policy, research and administration in the School of Education will head the project; the project coordinator is graduate student Mindy Eichhorn, stated the release.

According to the release, Evans and Berger appreciate the UMass administration’s support.

“The University has stepped up to the plate to make this happen,” Evans said. Berger added, “The level of support has been remarkable.”

— Collegian News Staff