Mining in Afghanistan – Improving University Education, Supporting Innovation
Afghanistan’s raw materials sector offers substantial potential to generate revenue which would make a major contribution to economic and social development. Currently, however, this potential is not being utilised to the full. This is mainly due to the shortage of well-trained technical experts and managers in this sector. At present, curricula at universities with mining and geology departments do not focus sufficiently on building practical skills or on meeting labour market needs. In addition, the study programmes lack access to international networks and foreign language skills. This makes it difficult to ensure that mining education imparts the required level of professional expertise and technical knowledge.
The project aims to overhaul the technical content of the courses and align them to the needs of the labour market, economy and administration so that the revenue-generating potential of the raw materials sector can be utilised to the full. In addition to the provision of technical and practical training for teaching staff, courses of direct relevance to the mining industry are being developed and integrated into the curricula. Regional partnerships are intended to facilitate academic networking with the international research and teaching community.
Measures & Results
The project is helping to modernise university training for the mining sector in Afghanistan and to adapt it to local needs. Close cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and German universities, such as Freiberg University of Mining and Technology (TU Freiberg) and Ruhr University Bochum, gives teaching staff and students access to up-to-date technical knowledge and innovative teaching methods.
A further success factor is the introduction of work placements with a practical focus as part of the study programmes. Based on an analysis of the needs of mining companies and relevant authorities, the courses are being restructured and teaching laboratories established, with a stronger focus on the sector’s requirements. In addition, academia, the private sector and administrative bodies are being networked through strategic partnerships. Expert dialogue is facilitated at national and international level through Winter Schools, conferences and colloquia, field visits and practical training in neighbouring countries. These improvements to the study programmes make it easier for graduates to find employment.
The programme also supports the development of national standards for courses relevant to the mining sector, based on international accreditation criteria such as labour market orientation and quality standards.
The aim is to make the raw materials sector more sustainable and less dependent on foreign expertise, thus generating higher state revenues for Afghanistan over the long term. The resulting added value will make a major contribution to the country’s economic and political stability.