Enrichment programme in Kabul, Afghanistan: access to higher education at Aga Khan University, Karachi Pakistan

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


Introduction: Today health care institutions face issues of nursing shortage due to decline in number of nurses and the complexity of patients’ condition. Also, many countries internationally have moved towards Baccalaureate of Sciences in Nursing (BScN) as entry to professional practice. These factors enforce the schools/colleges of nursing to recruit students that fulfill the demands of the society; on the other hand recruitment and retention of these students into the programmes from a diverse population brings the challenges. Therefore, Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery (AKU-SONAM) in Karachi, Pakistan developed a pre-admission Enrichment Programme (EP) through its programmes in Afghanistan to facilitate prospective Afghan students improve their English language and basic science skills in preparation to gain access for admission to the Nursing Programmes.

Objectives: The purpose of this programme is to increase enrolment of disadvantaged students into the international universities for higher education including a four year BScN and a Post-Registered Nurse BScN programmes at AKU-SONAM Pakistan.

Methodology: Students are selected following a placement test of English. The subjects included for teaching are English as Second Language, Basic Sciences, Mathematics and Nursing Knowledge. This programme is designed for six months.

Results: 13 EP students got admission for BScN and Post-RN BScN programmes at AKU. In addition, the students’ feedback revealed that the EP is beneficial for their professional development as it facilitated their career planning.

Conclusion: The outcome of the EP is suggestive of improving access to higher education. A prospective study is needed to gather evidence of students’ retention in the programmes; and also enrolment and retention of these students at national and international institutions of higher education.

Publication (Name of Journal)

International Journal of Nursing Education