Learning Across Borders: Workshop for Sustainable Energy Master’s Programmes

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 5th August 2019 – Yesterday in Dubai, a three-day baseline study workshop for developing a sustainable energy university degree ended. Four Afghan universities and one German university will work in tandem, linking their expertise to create the course and teach the students via blended-learning – engaging with them online and face-to-face. Twenty-one attendees, men and women, including representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Water, the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), the Afghanistan Renewable Energy Union, and respective universities participated. The Afghan-German Cooperation supported the event.

Mr Zubair Sediqi, Director of Academic Programmes Development at MoHE stated, ‘Establishing the Master’s degree programme in Afghan universities will produce highly qualified experts in the field of renewable energy and will contribute to the socio-economic development of Afghanistan.’

Four universities in Afghanistan are to implement the new renewable energy and energy efficiency Master’s degree programme. They will form a partnership with Germany’s Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin to develop and deliver the content. The students will benefit from gained knowledge in renewable energy and energy efficiency, topics that are becoming increasingly valuable in Afghanistan’s private sector.

Chancellor of Herat University Mr Abdullah Faiz said, ‘Part of Herat University’s mission is the production of knowledge and skills based on the needs of the labour market. The Master’s degree will offer in-depth knowledge of all renewable technologies, providing opportunities to specialise in an area with strong government interest.’

Knowledge in the renewable energy sector is in demand. The government has recently initiated an aim to produce 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy. This initiative will attract private investment to the clean energy sector to facilitate renewable energy production, reduce the reliance on energy imports from neighbouring countries, and create new job opportunities. Filling these positions with well-trained staff requires the appropriate academic education.

In the workshop, participants discussed the roadmap and timeline for implementing the new programme, possible curricula, and a project plan for receiving input from Beuth University. A close collaboration of the universities in the two countries will help improve instruction, communication and a general understanding of renewable energy and energy efficiency for Afghanistan.

On behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the Afghanistan Energy Sector Improvement Programme (ESIP). ESIP aims at promoting renewable energy generation and energy efficiency in Afghanistan to boost economic growth and protect the environment. To achieve this goal, ESIP closely cooperates with key actors at national and provincial level to establish an institutional framework that enables a reliable energy supply. It also supports the private sector in adopting market-based quality standards and maintenance concepts for photovoltaics and solar thermal energy to attract investments. At the same time, ESIP implements capacity-building activities for staff in the public and private energy sectors and at universities.