Notre Dame partners with Balkh University in Afghanistan to develop master’s program

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The University of Notre Dame and Balkh University in Mazari Sharif city, province of Balkh in Afghanistan, are partnering to develop a master’s program in finance and accountancy for students at Balkh. The venture aims to enhance the skills and employability of technically qualified and professionally capable Afghan women and men in the private and public sectors.

Faculty from Balkh University and from the Stayer Center for Executive Education of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business will work together to develop graduate curriculum and enhance teaching and research skills and capabilities over the next two years. The Stayer Center will direct the academic side of the project, and the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development will coordinate the program and oversee all logistics, including use of Notre Dame facilities and staff overseas.

The process for developing the master’s program will consist of five working meetings held alternately in India and at Notre Dame’s Global Gateway in Rome, among faculty at Notre Dame and Balkh. It also will include numerous virtual meetings for mentoring, building of content knowledge and development of administrative policy and procedures.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Balkh faculty to support their pursuit of excellence in higher education,” said Paul Slaggert, director of the Stayer Center. “We expect to learn much from each other during our work together over the next two years.”

Other Notre Dame partners involved in this program are the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, whose faculty will consult on the development of curriculum and teaching and learning skills, and Notre Dame International, whose Rome Global Gateway and Mumbai office will provide facility and logistical support.

The Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development promotes human development and dignity among people worldwide through applied innovations, impact evaluation, education and training that helps build just and equitable societies. It is an integral part of Notre Dame’s new Keough School of Global Affairs. The Keough School aims to build long-term partnerships within the academy, government, business and civil society, integrating disciplines and best practices to identify solutions responsive to the interconnected nature of global challenges.

Notre Dame’s Stayer Center, founded in 1980, gives leaders in the executive and management ranks the opportunity to develop and strengthen their leadership abilities and business skills. The Stayer Center offers graduate degree programs, including the Notre Dame Executive MBA, the Master of Finance and the Master of Science in Business Analytics, and non-degree open-enrollment and custom programs.

This Notre Dame – Balkh University partnership arises through a $1.15 million contract provided under the University Support and Workforce Development Program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by FHI 360— a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions — and its university partners.

Contact: Michael Sweikar, managing director, Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development, 574-631-2940,

Originally published by Joan Fallon at on November 16, 2016.