As part of the DAAD's "Stability Pact Afghanistan" program, in 2007 the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the University of Würzburg initiated an intensive collaboration with the Afghan Universities of Herat and Nangahar, a project which ran until 2014. After expiration of the Stability Pact funding program, cooperation with the University of Herat continued, funded by the DAAD “German-Afghan Tertiary Education Collaboration” program. The primary aim of this collaboration, which is coordinated by project leader Dr. Stephan Wager, is the support of the Afghan chemistry teaching facilities with the expansion of contemporary curricula, the provision of lab equipment and the training of Afghan chemistry lecturers. Since 2013 this collaboration has been reinforced by participation of the University of Würzburg Chair of Chemistry Didactics under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ekkehard Geidel, with the aim of developing practical teaching courses at Afghan universities and their local implementation.
As part of the ongoing collaborative project between German and Afghan universities, four chemistry faculty members of the University of Herat in Afghanistan are currently being hosted by the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry. Their stay is funded by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) as part of a project involving the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and the Chair of Chemistry Didactics aimed at improving the teaching at chemistry departments at Afghan universities. At the center of this collaboration is the development of teaching methods that can be applied using the local facilities at Afghan universities, with a focus on the development of sustainable practical experiments that conserve resources. The focus of this year's collaboration is UV-vis spectroscopy, for which a number of members of the Chair of Chemistry Didactics have developed a special training spectrometer and a practical course based thereon. After training of the Afghan faculty members in the use of the spectrometer, it will be shipped to Afghanistan so that it can be operational by early 2017. The introduction of the practical courses at the University of Herat will then be supervised by chemists from the University of Würzburg.
The four faculty members of the University of Herat together
with project partners from the University of Würzburg (Patrick Schairer, Katja Streidel,
and project head Dr. Stephan Wagner)