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UCA will eventually have three campuses of equal size and stature in each of the founding countries.The UCA campus in Tekeli will be one of three campuses of equal size and stature; the others will be in Naryn, Kyrgyz republic and Khorog, Tajikistan.University of Central Asia campus in Tekeli
The creation of the University of Central Asia, with a campus in Tekeli, Kazakhstan, is a response to the withdrawal of much-needed education resources following the demise of the Soviet Union as well as the emergence of new opportunities to create innovative institutions that can respond to the needs of communities in the region.

In 1994, President Rakhmonov of Tajikistan and His Highness the Aga Khan conceived the idea of a new university designed to address the unique educational, economic and cultural needs of mountain communities. After several years of study, University of Central Asia (UCA) was founded in 2000 by the governments of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, and His Highness the Aga Khan (View Press Release). It is the world’s first internationally chartered institution of higher education. The International Treaty and Charter establishing this secular and private University was signed by His Highness the Aga Khan and the Presidents of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, ratified by the respective parliaments and registered with the United Nations. The Presidents are the Patrons and His Highness the Aga Khan is the Founding Patron and Chancellor of UCA.

The mission of UCA is to promote the socio-economic development of Central Asia’s mountain societies, while at the same time helping the diverse peoples of the region to preserve and draw upon their rich cultural traditions and heritages as assets for the future. It is developing three world-class residential campuses and facilities in remote mountain communities of Central Asia; preparing new kinds of experts in key fields of development that respond to local, national and regional needs; educating a new generation prepared for leadership roles; revitalising the skills of existing professionals in diverse fields; and providing practical training to youth and adults.

The first degree offered will be a Master’s of Science in Economic Development, including a core one-year curriculum in economics, development, finance and inter-disciplinary studies with a strong emphasis on ethics. This will be followed by a second year devoted to concentrations in one of the following Institutes of graduate study: Business and Economic Development, Public Administration, and Rural Development. The remaining three Institutes: Tourism and Leisure, Education Policy, and Environment and Natural Resource Management will initially focus on research, but ultimately will offer specialized degrees.

The School of Undergraduate Studies will offer a four-year degree to instill graduates with global knowledge, leadership skills, and initiative. The course will include required foundational courses emphasizing critical thinking and interdisciplinary approaches; concentrations in the humanities, natural sciences, the social sciences, and management; and research requirements.

UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE), which has been operating since 2006, is Central Asia’s first provider of formal, university-based, non-degree educational programmes, offering vocational, professional development and personal improvement opportunities to youth and adults. By building vocational skills and professional competencies, SPCE will encourage entrepreneurship in the region and stimulate economic development (Find out more on SPCE).

When it becomes operational, the Graduate School of Development will consist of six Institutes addressing the unique resources and needs of the region while creating a pool of highly skilled professionals and decision-makers in:

Humanities Programme
UCA will design approaches to integrate the humanities and the study of the rich and diverse cultures of Central Asia into academic and other programmes and build on the work of the Aga Khan Humanities Programme (AKHP). AKHP, headquartered in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, promotes pluralism in ideas, cultures, and people by supporting the development and implementation of innovative humanities curricula based on the cultural traditions of Central Asia. AKHP initiates and supports curriculum and pedagogical development in universities, community outreach projects and institutional development through long-term partnerships. It has worked in universities in Kazakhstan as well as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Music Programme
UCA is developing a music programme that will provide unique instruction, research and performance opportunities in the rich musical traditions of Central Asia. The programme will support UCA’s academic programmes, enrich the cultural life of the three campuses and complement the work of the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia.

The State Award for Peace and Progress
On 17 December 2002, when His Highness the Aga Khan received, he requested that the award be used to create scholarships at the University of Central Asia for Kazakh students with financial constraints who otherwise met the institution's merit-based admission criteria.
For more information, please see the University of Central Asia website.

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