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.
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. 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:
- Business and Economic Development
- Public Administration
- Rural Development
- Tourism and Leisure
- Education Policy
- Environment and Natural Resource Management