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American University of Afghanistan

The American University of Afghanistan is a private university in Kabul, Afghanistan. It is the country's first private, not-for-profit institution of higher education. It is located in Kabul near the Darul Aman Palace and the Afghan Parliament.

Chartered in 2004, the AUAF offers an MBA program, four undergraduate degree programs, pre-college preparation (Academy) and continuing education and professional development training (the Professional Development Institute). It opened its doors in 2006 with an initial enrollment of 50 students and enrolls more than 1,700 full and part-time students. Its alumni include 29 Fulbright Scholars.

The idea for the American University of Afghanistan began in 2002 with Dr. Sharif Fayez, then Afghan Minister of Higher Education. During his time as minister, he proposed the creation of Afghanistan's first-ever private university. The following year in an address before UNESCO, then U.S. First Lady Laura Bush announced her support of educational initiatives in Afghanistan. The U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, likely inspired from his own experience at the American University of Beirut, encouraged the establishment of the American University of Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan High Commission for Private Investment offered leases on two parcels of land totaling 55.354 acres (224,010 m2) in the Darulaman area of Kabul until 2103. In addition, the American University of Afghanistan corporation was chartered in the State of Delaware, under the leadership of Dr. Jacob van Lutsenburg Maas, who later became the non-profit corporation's president, to receive these leases. In 2007, the non-profit corporation became a tax-exempt 501(c) 3 organization.

The Saleha Bayat Building at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) in Kabul.

A charter for the establishment of the American University of Afghanistan was granted on July 26, 2004, by the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education, under Article 46, Chapter 2 of the new Afghan Constitution and Article 445 of the Civil Code. A feasibility study was initiated by the Coordinating Council of International Universities, based in the United States, to recommend an institutional framework.

Visit the American University of Afghanistan website.

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