AFGHANISTAN: Graduating against the odds

Students chat happily on manicured lawns, proudly donning their black graduation robes and snapping photos of each other with family and friends. It is 26 May, graduation day at the American University of Afghanistan - the first since the university opened in 2006 - and the violence and misery of this country's decades-long war could not seem further away, writes Erin Cunningham for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Twenty-nine of the 32-student graduating class, most of whom were among the university's first to enrol, were to receive their diplomas. Children of the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran, most of these graduates cobbled together their educations over decades of exile and against all odds. The American university, ¬a non-profit, secular institute of higher learning based on the American model, is indeed an anomaly here where war and extremism have rendered 72% of the country's almost 30 million people illiterate.
Full report on The Chronicle site