Strategic Objectives

Academic Expansion and Excellence

To broaden the range of academic programs with a focus on excellence in teaching and learning

Despite the noticeable achievements, the higher education sector in Afghanistan faces significant challenges, including lack of quality, accessibility, capacity building, and market-driven higher education programs, as highlighted in the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF II) 2021-2025. Furthermore, Afghanistan’s total tertiary education gross enrolment ratio of 9.7 percent represents one of the lowest indicators in the world (UNESCO, 2018). In such a challenging context, there is a demonstrated need for increased and high-quality academic programs as primary drivers of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic resiliency amid rapid technological change.

Given the changing market requirements and national demand for new academic disciplines, Kardan University is uniquely positioned to expand its degree programs by launching new undergraduate and graduate programs. The need for the expansion of academic programs was validated and underscored during a comprehensive range of focus group discussions, interviews, and surveys conducted with students, alumni, and industry partners in 2020.

These assessments indicated that while there exists significant demand for the master level programs, there is a growing demand in the market for new and innovative undergraduate programs in national priority areas such as the environmental sciences, supply chain management, teacher education, and medical sciences. Consequently, there is a demonstrated need to further expand the current academic programs in order to address the market and workforce requirements while effectively contributing towards the socio-economic development priorities in Afghanistan. To this end, Kardan University will need to significantly expand access to a portfolio of high-quality academic programs that meet the human capital development priorities in Afghanistan.

This expansion may include degree programs, certificate programs, executive education programs, and customized academic offerings to meet the workforce needs across the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

As new academic disciplines and initiatives are launched, Kardan University will simultaneously strengthen its staff and institutional capacities to increase student enrolment by the year 2025 through targeted, innovative and systematic outreach initiatives across Kabul and the provinces. The growth in student numbers will be supplemented by the increased investments in attracting top faculty talent, and an enhanced learning and teaching environment including world-class infrastructure, cutting edge student services and facilities. Through the design and delivery of innovative and market-oriented academic programs for the next generation of prospective students, Kardan University will reassert its ascent as a leading provider of undergraduate, graduate, and professional education programs in Afghanistan.

Student and Alumni Success

To attract and retain the best students and maximize their potential with a focus on enhanced student and alumni success programs and initiatives

Every year, around 200,000 high school graduates register for Afghanistan’s nationwide university examination also known as Kankor with an estimated 40% of those who pass the examination enrolling at private universities, according to the National Examination Authority (NExA).

In addition, an increasing number of high school graduates aged between 18-23 apply to the private universities directly given a multiplicity of factors, including lack of enrolment capacity at public universities, high quality education at selected private universities, diversity of market-oriented academic programs, and employment prospects after graduation, according to the MoHE strategic plan.

Over the next five years, Kardan University will continue to assess the higher education trends and develop responsive strategies to enroll promising talents from both the Kankor platform and high schools across the country. Beyond the delivery of traditional marketing and enrolment strategies, we will re-define our student enrolment strategies emphasizing greater faculty involvement, stakeholder relations, high school outreach initiatives, digital media, and innovative public engagement activities.

We will create high-impact initiatives such as mentorship, fundraising, national and international competitions, student support services, career development pathways, and a diverse range of corporate sponsorship opportunities that will guide our collective efforts and decision making on enrolment emphasizing a culture of student service excellence, an enhanced approach towards promoting access and entrance to the University as well as improved cross-functional coordination on enrolment. In addition to ensuring rigorous academic standards in the classrooms, Kardan University has contributed towards the students’ professional development through the establishment of Student Success Center – a unique and holistic platform offering students and alumni with lifelong and co/extra-curricular development opportunities, including but not limited to student clubs and societies, job placement and career development services, alumni development initiatives, national and international competitions, and industry engagement. This balanced approach towards student and alumni development has resulted in increased demand for Kardan University graduates in the market demonstrated by an estimated 88% graduate employment rate, as per the impact assessment conducted for the years 2014-2018.

Over the next five years, we will continue to invest in and enhance our student and alumni success initiatives through the design and delivery of high-impact initiatives such as mentorship, fundraising, national and international competitions, student support services, career development pathways, and a diverse range of corporate sponsorship opportunities. We will ensure the strategic development of an enabling environment where our alumni and students can thrive and excel nationally and globally.

Research Excellence

To promote research excellence through knowledge generation, dissemination, and impact

Kardan University has made achieving research excellence a fundamental strategic priority as demonstrated through the establishment and strengthening of the Department of Research and Development.

As a research-oriented academic institution, Kardan University has dedicated research capabilities as demonstrated through the publication of ISSN-registered academic journals, formation of a Research Society mobilizing national and international researchers, facilitation of faculty’s research publications in leading international journals, as well as provision of research grants, symposia, and conferences.

From Kankor examination reform to achieving the sustainability development goals and boosting national economy in collaboration with the industry partners, Kardan University’s researchers continue to examine and help tackle some of the most complex socio-economic challenges in Afghanistan. Over the next five years, we will further strengthen our research capabilities in order to promote a culture of research and effectively contribute towards the development of a knowledge-based economy in Afghanistan.

Furthermore, we will make increased investments towards publishing textbooks including teaching and learning resources in an effort to address the significant gap in the availability and accessibility of effective and relevant educational books and resources in Afghanistan.

Brand Identity

To elevate Kardan University’s brand identity through the development of enduring commitments and lifelong relationships

As Afghanistan’s first and leading private University, Kardan University has consistently cultivated a positive brand identity that fosters feelings of belonging, pride and trust among our current and prospective students, employees, alumni, and strategic partners.

By advancing academic and professional excellence, Kardan University has distinguished itself as a leading brand in Afghanistan’s competitive private higher education landscape. Over the next five years, we will invest further in building lifelong relationships with our community through a dedicated and systematic focus on elevating Kardan University’s brand.

Our intent in pursuing this strategic objective is to ensure that Kardan University can break out of the “sea of sameness” in the higher education sector and systematically capitalize on our community’s sense of pride towards Kardan University’s vision and mission.

To achieve this objective, we will make significant improvements and investments in key growth areas such as the recruitment and enrollment, student and alumni success initiatives and academic reputation. Furthermore, we will seek innovative and creative ways to strengthen our national and international collaborations with the public, private and non-profit sectors, ensuring the development of enduring relationships for an inspiring and sustainable future.

Institutional Development

To invest in and develop a thriving campus while strengthening staff, faculty and institutional capacities

As an innovative and growth-oriented industry leader, Kardan University is renowned for its ability to respond to the evolving higher education requirements and deliver high quality academic and professional programs aligned with the national priorities. Over the next five years, we remain committed to creating an enabling environment where growth will be embraced and institutionalized across the University’s ecosystem including academic affairs and professional services. The strategic growth commitments will be designed and delivered twofold. First, Kardan University requires the development of a permanent, custom-built campus that effectively responds to our strategic commitments, sustainability imperatives and future growth-focused ambitions. Securing a permanent and custom-built campus for Kardan University continues to be one of the most fundamental strategic priorities as originally reflected in the Vision of Excellence (2015-2020), our inaugural five-year strategic plan.

The current campus environment characterized by leased buildings and limited teaching and learning facilities is unsustainable, increasingly hindering the University’s provision of high quality academic and professional services. What is more, the current campuses negatively affect Kardan University’s ability to innovate, expand, and deliver world-class professional and academic services. By investing in the development of a permanent campus, Kardan University will be uniquely positioned not only to achieve its five-year strategic objectives but will lead the higher education sector as a result of increased innovative and market-oriented academic programs and services. Second, as the campus development initiative represents a significant institutional expansion, there will be a need to simultaneously align the institutional systems and strengthen our staff and institutional capacities to meet the growth priorities.

Through a comprehensive system development framework, we will enhance our administrative and academic systems, policies, and procedures to meet the new campus requirements and growth imperatives. In addition to effective system development, we will continue to attract top talent in our academic and professional units and develop their capacities through the design and implementation of robust strategic initiatives. We will re-examine our human resource strategies to ensure that our current systems and approaches remain relevant, responsive, and effective to meet the future needs.

By developing a custom-built campus and focusing on staff and institutional development in tandem, Kardan University will be able to usher in a new era of excellence in higher education and effectively compete with the reputable universities nationally and internationally.

Centers of Excellence

To design and develop high impact initiatives including the formation of Centers of Excellence that respond to the evolving market needs and national development priorities

Kardan University is uniquely positioned to contribute knowledge and expertise towards the sectoral and national development priorities given its leadership role in the higher education sector. The establishment of Kardan University’s Center for Higher Education Development (CHED) advancing research, innovation, and higher education reform is a case in point.

As part of its new strategy, Kardan University envisions designing and delivering additional high impact initiatives that tackle significant developmental gaps across the public, private, and non-profit sectors over the next five years. Building on its success in higher education administration and leadership, Kardan University intends to establish niche Centers of Excellence in targeted fields (e.g. higher education, capacity development, technology) where we have demonstrated strength and leadership.

These interventions will support the development of responsive and effective national institutions while enabling the University to meet its funding and financial sustainability priorities. By responding to the market needs, Kardan University will be able to reassert its industry lead, address national development priorities and advance our institutional competitiveness and relevance over the next five years.

Kardan Foundation

To establish the Kardan Foundation as an integral part of Kardan University to advance a knowledge society and contribute to the prosperity of communities across Afghanistan

Kardan University is the first academic institution in Afghanistan to be recognized by the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings (2020) for our sustainable development impact in Afghanistan. Since Kardan University was founded in 2002, we have addressed societal needs and market demands by linking Kardan University’s work with the broader socio-economic context in Afghanistan as part of a coherent institutional framework, including the establishment of Kardan University’s Sustainability Office.

As part of our societal commitments, we have sponsored mobile libraries and national and international sports competitions, offered scholarships and financial assistance opportunities to thousands of promising youths, and supported diverse charitable causes as well as created thousands of internship and employment opportunities. Given the significance of these societal contributions, there is a need to streamline and consolidate our strategic impact initiatives through the establishment of the Kardan Foundation.

This long-standing strategic commitment, as originally reflected in our Vision of Excellence (2015-2020), will become our primary vehicle through which we will create societal impact. The Kardan Foundation will ultimately serve as pioneering initiative that will inspire other universities across Afghanistan to institutionalize philanthropic and service-focused work as part of their core mission.