AGO legalizes UMEF operation in Afghanistan

By: Hamid

The Attorney General Office (AGO) in a letter issued the other day has said that UMEF University of Afghanistan could resume operation under the existed laws in the country.
The Ministry of Higher Education has put at stake the future of hundreds of students by revoking the silence of a private university, issued by the administration of former president Hamid Karzai. The issue was raised after the then acting higher education minister Farida Momand said at a meeting with Chief Executive Officer (CE) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in 2017 that they did not recognize the UMEF University campus in Kabul and the degrees it awarded were illegal.
But the university officials had said that Ministry of Higher Education has applied double standard against them and prevent their legal operation. The official also said the university had active branches in Europe and African continents.
But the recent later number 425-426 dated 14/2/1398 Solar Year of the Attorney General Office said that they had reviewed the documents and claimed made against the university and could not find any illegal or fake act by the university and its documents and the institution could resume operation in line with the existed laws.
The later has also requested the ministry of higher education to ease cooperation in line with reoperation of the university as well as introduce back those students dispatched to state universities.
The Kabul-based UMEF officials, told The Kabul Times that the university was founded seven years back in line with an agreement with the main campus administration in Geneva. A formal letter of approval was also issued from the embassy of Afghanistan in Switzerland to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). “Investment in the Kabul branch was made by Professor Dr. Javed Sangdil, an Afghan citizen.”According to the documents submitted during the Karzai government, MoFA facilitated and MoHE provided approval for the UMEF university branch, but the then sitting officials call the campus illegal.
After the matter of UMEF being an illegal educational institute was raised, officials of the university complained to the Wolesi Jirga. The house tasked a commission comprised of officials from MoHE, the lower house panel on higher education and UMEF to investigate the matter. The house later intorduce the issue to AGO and finally the entity released its decision of the university to resume the operation in Afghanistan.
A university student Fatima told The Kabul Times that the university was going very well, and they were busy studying while guest lecturers from Europe, Africa and America were teaching them. “We were surprised to see the MoHE decision and our fate remained uncertain for two years. I am happy for the decision made and looking forward to beginning of the university’s operation.”
Meanwhile a student Zaki Ahmad said that he was feeling sorry for such officials preventing educational institutions from operation. “They could legalize the operation and they could also instruct the university to fulfill its duties and responsibilities but was not fair to stop its operation and play with the fate of hundreds of students,” he added. Around 70 students have recently been graduated from different departments of bachelor and master degree of UMEF main campus in Swiss.

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