Ball State expands international presence with $1 million Afghan grant

Topics: International Education, Miller College of Business, Student Affairs

November 8, 2010

A $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of State will allow Ball State to help Kandahar University in Afghanistan develop curricula emphasizing free market principles and entrepreneurship within its new College of Economics.

The two-year grant enables faculty members from Ball State's nationally ranked Center for Entrepreneurship, led by Michael Goldsby, the Stoops distinguished professor of entrepreneurship, to work closely with members of Kandahar's economics department in creating entrepreneurial courses that will lead to an expertise in entrepreneurship, business development and economic development.

"We are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with Kandahar University on this venture and happy to offer up Ball State's expertise in entrepreneurship," said Ken Holland, dean of Ball State's Rinker Center for International Programs. "This project will allow Kandahar University to be the first public higher education institution in Afghanistan to highlight free-market principles in its economics curricula."

Richard Boyum, the State Department's university linkages and program evaluation coordinator for Afghanistan and Pakistan, says the purpose of the grant is to provide Afghanistan with added economic development opportunities and encourage integration into the international trade and business community, which lends itself to greater stability and peace in the region.

"Kandahar University is in an area that is ripe for economic development," Boyum said. "Ball State has an opportunity to help Kandahar fulfill its potential as an engine of economic growth in the southern region, an area that is vital to Afghanistan's political and economic future."

Additionally, faculty from Ball State's Intensive English Institute will work with Kandahar University to improve the English language proficiency of its faculty and students.

Members of Ball State's Career Center also will assist Kandahar University with the creation of its own career development center, which will serve as another method of integrating the university with the business world and give students more opportunities for internships and employment.

This is the second $1 million university linkages grant Ball State has received in the past six months; the other is being used to help Tikrit University in Iraq transform its overall curriculum and its faculty members' teaching style.

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