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American University of Afghanistan Aspires to Educational Greatness

The American University of Afghanistan (AUA), the first private university in Afghanistan, is expanding rapidly, becoming a regional educational hub while providing long-denied educational opportunities to young and deserving Afghan students.

The university, a non-profit organization that currently offers business, management, IT and liberal arts courses, is in its second year of operations. While 400 students are enrolled, AUA plans to expand to 5,000 students in the near future. In an effort to reach prospective students and teachers, the university recently launched a sleek, attractive website:

The website provides information on AUA faculty, admissions, tuition and financial aid, student life as well as an electronic library catalogue. The website also lists job openings for teachers who want to become part of rebuilding Afghanistan’s education sector, as well as contractors who would like to bid on projects supporting the university’s expanding campus. The website also provides information and contacts for journalists who would like to visit the campus or discuss the curriculum with members of the faculty.

“We follow a no-barrier-to-admissions policy. Students are recruited without regard to their demographic profiles, financial capacities, beliefs, or personal histories. Energy, integrity, and ambition to learn are more important factors in the admission process,” reads a introductory message from AUA President and CEO Dr. Tom Stauffer. “Students and staff members at this still-young institution are all academic pioneers.”

 “The American University of Afghanistan starts with the word ‘American’ because it builds on the American system of higher education, which is increasingly being followed in high-quality universities throughout the world,” says founder Dr. Sharif Fayez. “It ends with the word ‘Afghanistan’ because, as well as being located in Afghanistan, it is an Afghan independent and private higher education institution. The word ‘Afghanistan’ also means that the University is for the whole country, not only for Kabul. Regional and international students are welcome to apply for admission.”

The University also announced this month that it would utilize SunGard's PowerCAMPUS to help it manage growing student numbers and courses. PowerCAMPUS is a Microsoft-based administrative system that includes applications for admissions, academic records, advancement, billing and cash receipts, financial aid, finance, human resources, and portals. This technology will help with management of student admissions, and keep track of students from all over the country, many of whom lack educational records.

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