Dunya – the world.
A name well chosen to reflect its positioning as the first university in Afghanistan with a distinctive international flavor, thanks to an international faculty hailing from Switzerland, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the USA. Their experience in delivering the latest teaching methods, including discussions on their own experience and research, is unique in the country. Students are delighted to share this international vision. This reflects Dunya’s approach of blending theory and practice with contemporary case studies, enabling students to share in the creation of knowledge that can assist in the rebuilding of Afghanistan.
The brainchild of Djawed Sangdel – Rector of Swiss UMEF University in Geneva, Switzerland, and Professor of Leadership and Entrepreneurship – Dunya was established with the purpose of delivering to the Afghan population the highest quality education that would spur the reconstruction of the country through the training of future leaders who would be willing and motivated to commit their energy to that purpose.
At this point, Mr Sangdel thought differently, a constant now at Dunya. He firmly believed, and does so even today, that the aspiring leaders would need a different mindset and should be trained to not only accept responsibilities, but also to create positions of responsibility for others.
The development, believes Mr Sangdel, is dependent on future ethical leaders who will strive to develop an economic, intellectual, political and social wealth.
To establish curricula that would be an ideal fit for Afghanistan, Mr Sangdel, starting in 2002, carried out an extensive review of the European higher education scene.
The years 2005 and 2006 saw him garner the support of his father – His Excellency General Ahmed Ali Sangdel – and several members of his family, as well as a team of devoted colleagues with extensive international educational experience. A Swiss university was established that, to this day, is a partner of Dunya and provides it with important academic and managerial support.
Mr Sangdel’s vision proved to be right, as in 2007, the offering of a series of free courses of English, Information Technology and Mathematics, among other courses, through the Najat Foundation established in Kwai Markaz, was a resounding success.
Planning sessions followed in Geneva, together with academics experienced in developing curricula for international institutions.
While the curriculum developed met the needs of Afghan students, it was established along the criteria of the Bologna process and Swiss excellence – a first for the country.
Computer Science and Management Science were the first two faculties and each offered an array of specializations.
This was followed by the establishment of Dunya Institute of Higher Education (DIHE) and its recognition by the Ministry of Higher Education.
Success was immediate – with 360 candidates for the entrance examination, of which 180 students enrolled. The selection process allowed DUA to recruit the best students, with the highest motivation, so that class quality was enhanced by the exchange between students and faculty, particularly considering that the majority of students are professionals occupying key positions in the private and public sector.
Today Dunya has 4 faculties – Management, Law, Political Science and Computer Science. Management courses go from Bachelors to Masters level. Classes are held on two new campuses – in Darul Aman and Parwan 3.
Dunya was a pioneer in introducing the accreditation system in Afghanistan and was soon able to obtain membership of several international bodies. It has also established partnerships with reputable universities worldwide.
The annual graduation ceremony is an impressive event and is by far the most important graduation event in the country.
DUA also holds major national and international seminars, a unique accomplishment in Afghanistan, attended by leading figures such as President Ashraf Ghani, ambassadors, ministers, and senior leaders.
We have now introduced TV educational package (Dunya At Your Home) into our academic programmes. This package, engineered by Prof. Djawed Sangdel, affords every citizen of Afghanistan and beyond to gain access to education at a very affordable cost. This means those living in the remotest areas of the country can have access to the programme through television, with or without internet, and with all teaching materials including videos, audios and texts.
DUA has rolled out a new learning management system (LMS) to allow our students gain access to education through online. This means students can conveniently login with their credentials and gain access to live and pre-recorded lectures. This is particularly important in periods, such as COVID-19 pandemic, where it is beyond the control of the University to offer in-person classroom delivery except by remote/off-site method.
There are a quite number of new developments that have also taken place at DUA. A new Dean has been appointed to oversee the overall academic affairs of the university. This is to make sure our students receive the highest quality of education based on current trends. In line with this development, we have also set up a Quality Assurance Department staffed with experts who are highly experienced in the quality assurance of higher education.
In another development, Dunya is rebranding to improve on its position and delivery in the higher education sector. To this end, we have reconstructed all our classrooms with modern seats and facilities that meet the standard for international education. We have also partnered with ACCA at the Silver membership level to make our Accounting and Finance students highly competitive in the corporate world.
To make sure our students receive knowledge from current research output, we have set up a new department with the sole aim of establishing an academic Journal. The department is wholly and exclusively responsible for publishing academic articles about new trends in a globally competitive environment.