Q&A on the News

Q: My question concerns the recent article about the attack at the Afghan college campus of the American University. What is that university? Who operates it? It says that all classes are in English, so it’s probably not for Afghanis. Is it for U.S. service personnel?

—Darryl Weaver, Atlanta

A: The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) is the country's only private, nonprofit university.

The school, which is in Kabul, started with 53 students in 2006, but had more 1,700 full and part-time students by 2012, according to its Facebook page.

There are students from all 34 provinces in Afghanistan, according to a video at friendsofauaf.org.

Although all courses are taught in English, the university operates within the “Afghan cultural context and the protections afforded by the constitution of Afghanistan.”

The United States Agency for International Development and donors provide funding for AUAF, which offers undergraduate degrees in business administration, information technology and computer science, public administration, political science and law, as well as master degrees in business and education.

Seven students and one professor were among the 14 people killed, NBC.com reported, when militants attacked the walled university on Aug. 24. At least 35 students were wounded in the attack.

Two AUAF professors — including an American — were kidnapped last month.

“AUAF is a lasting legacy of the U.S. in Afghanistan, and we will not be deterred,” university president Mark English told The Washington Post after the kidnappings.

Andy Johnston with Fast Copy News Service wrote this column; Will Robinson contributed. Do you have a question? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).