“uncertainty over future funding comes after officials at USAID raised serious concerns about AUAF’s governance and fiscal controls”
The university depends largely on tax dollars but can’t account for over $60 million in government funds.
Inside Higher Ed reports:
Uncertain Future for American University in Afghanistan
The American University of Afghanistan opened its doors in 2006, in the wake of the U.S.-led invasion of the country five years earlier. In a country still marked by conflict and stark gender inequalities in educational opportunities, the private, coed, nonprofit institution stands out as an outpost for American-style education.
The university currently enrolls about 850 students — 42 percent of whom are women — across its undergraduate and graduate programs. It offers undergraduate degrees in law, business, political science, public administration and information technology, as well as a master’s program in business. It also offers professional development programs. It has more than 1,000 graduates and has produced 97 Fulbright scholars to date.
Despite such successes, the future of the university may be at stake.
AUAF is highly dependent on U.S. tax dollars, which, according to the university’s president, David Sedney, account for about 70 percent of its budget. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has contributed more than $110 million to the university since its inception, and additional funding has come from the Departments of Defense and State. It’s unclear whether USAID funding for the university will continue after the current funding term ends May 31, as was initially reported by CNN.
The uncertainty over future funding comes after officials at USAID raised serious concerns about AUAF’s governance and fiscal controls. A joint investigation by USAID’s Office of Inspector General and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) concluded that AUAF could not account for more than $63 million in U.S. government funds, according to SIGAR’s Oct. 30 report to Congress.
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