The University of Central Asia (UCA) was founded in 2000. The Presidents of Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Kazakhstan, and His Highness the Aga Khan signed the International Treaty and Charter establishing this secular and private University; ratified by the respective parliaments, and registered with the United Nations. The Presidents are the Patrons of UCA and His Highness is the Chancellor.
UCA brings with it the commitment and partnership of the broader Aga Khan Development Network, offering an internationally recognised standard of higher education in Central Asia.
UCA’s mission is to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia, particularly its mountain societies, while at the same time helping the different peoples of the region to preserve and draw upon their rich cultural traditions and heritages as assets for the future. UCA seeks to contribute leadership, ideas, and innovations to the transitioning economies and communities of the region through modern educational and vigorous research programmes that produce knowledgeable, skilled and creative graduates.
UCA consists of the School of Professional and Continuing Education (the first operational division of the University); and the School of Arts and Sciences (undergraduate), and the Graduate School of Development that will be launched when the three campuses are built in Khorog, Naryn, and Tekeli. The University provides three additional initiatives to build teaching and scholarly capacity in the region through its Central Asian Faculty Development Programme, the Aga Khan Humanities Project, and Research Programme.
Education for a New Generation
The Founders of UCA launched an ambitious and complex project responding to the need for new models of higher education institutions that strengthen Central Asian scholarship and attract international, regional, and local resources to enable the people of Central Asia to address their own economic and cultural challenges. UCA graduates will be empowered to contribute skills and leadership, as well as generate income and create jobs to enhance the participation of their communities in a global society. A core mandate of the University is to support Central Asians to enhance their roles as custodians of their environment and cultures to preserve and benefit from them.
The development of an international institution of higher learning - with an innovative curriculum to be taught in English and purpose built residential campuses in remote and mountainous locations - requires exceptional investments in planning, design, and implementation, as well as immense cooperation from all interested parties. Since its inception, UCA has made steady and important progress. With the generous support of His Highness the Aga Khan, the University has invested significant resources in all aspects of development including: securing land, developing a facilities plan, selection of architects and planners, designing campus buildings, conducting site investigations and site preparation works, and developing academic degree programmes. The School of Professional and Continuing Education, the Aga Khan Humanities Project, and the Research Programme are operational and contributing to the expanding learning opportunities in the region. In addition, UCA is proactively building its human resource and financial capacity to ensure that its contribution to social and economic growth in Central Asia can be sustained for generations to come.