News - November 4, 2009

Afghan students come to VHL

Fifteen Afghan students are to start on a professional MSc at VHL. This is part of a reconstruction project for agricultural education in Afghanistan, to be led by VHL.

If their visas come through in time, fifteen Afghan students will be arriving in Wageningen next week. They have all completed a Bachelor's degree in Afghanistan and have a few years of work experience. In the Netherlands they are going to follow a one-year professional MSc course at Van Hall Larenstein. Three students will study Land and water management in Velp, while the rest will study Chain management of rural development in Wageningen.
The arrival of the students is part of a Ministry of Agriculture and Food (LNV) project to get agricultural education in Afghanistan back on its feet. 'After thirty years of war, the educational system is in ruins', says Henk Jansen, international education projects adviser at VHL Wageningen. The Netherlands is the coordinating donor country in this project, to be led by Van Hall Larenstein.
The project will start by setting up a national centre for applied research and documentation, and a teacher training course in Kabul. There will also be two centres for vocational education, one in Kabul and one in Uruzghan. Once the Afghan students have got their MSc degrees, they can help run the teacher training course in Kabul.
Another fifteen students will come to the Netherlands next year. Jansen: 'This is just the start. We have got to build up education from scratch.' Next year, a team from Van Hall Larenstein will help think through the structure of the education system. Jansen will do most of that in Afghanistan, where he will be given an office in the Ministry of Education in the capital.