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  • From left to right: Dr Ariff Kachra, Asizov Kasen, Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Nurmamat Esenkulov, Dr Bohdan Krawchenko.
Classes begin for the University of Central Asia’s first undergraduate students

Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic, 5 September 2016 – Undergraduate classes at the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic campus commenced on 5 September 2016. 

The 71 students admitted through a competitive, transparent and merit-based admissions process come from Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Welcoming the students, Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Executive Chairman, UCA Board Executive Committee and Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network in the Kyrgyz Republic said, “This is a historic day for UCA. The University is delighted to welcome our very first 71 students, whose admission is a testament solely of their talent. We are proud that UCA’s financial aid programme ensured that no deserving student was denied entry due to financial circumstances.”

UCA Director General and Dean of Graduate Studies Dr Bohdan Krawchenko and Dean of Arts and Sciences Dr Ariff Kachra joined Kassim-Lakha at the occasion, alongside Kyrgyzstan’s Deputy Minister of Education Nurmamat Esenkulov and Naryn Deputy Governor Asizov Kasen.

The formal inauguration of the University is expected in October 2016.

Acknowledging UCA’s international quality of education, Deputy Minister Esenkulov remarked, We are delighted that UCA will focus on enhancing the standard of higher education in Central Asia and become a role model for other Universities.”

On behalf of the people of the Naryn Oblast, the Deputy Governor Asizov Kasen warmly welcomed UCA’s faculty, staff and students as the newest citizens of Naryn, “In the months and years to come, the University will make a significant contribution to this community and in turn can always count on our support,” said Kasen. 

UCA undergraduates begin their five-year degree programme with the University’s intensive Preparatory Programme. The following years feature liberal arts core curriculum rooted in the Central Asian context and specialised study in a selected major.

Students pursuing specialisations in Computer Science or Communications and Media will spend all five years at UCA Naryn, while those specialising in Economics or Earth and Environmental Science will transfer to the UCA campus in Khorog, Tajikistan, slated to open in 2017.

“The first phase of constructing a university is over and now, together with faculty, staff and students, we begin the much more challenging task of building the institution based on the values this University espouses,” Kassim-Lakha concluded.

UCA is building three residential university campuses of equal size and stature in Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic, the first to enrol undergraduate students; and in Khorog, Tajikistan (2017) and Tekeli, Kazakhstan (anticipated 2019). Each UCA campus features state of the art classrooms, libraries, and laboratories, secure, modular dormitories and athletic facilities open to the public, including football pitches and tennis courts.

For further information, please contact:

Nisar Keshvani                                                              
Director of Communications and Marketing                        
University of Central Asia                                                        
Mobile: +996 (0) 770 822 851                                                 


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, which was ratified by the respective parliaments and registered with the United Nations. UCA was established to offer an internationally recognised standard of higher education in Central Asia and prepare graduates to contribute leadership, ideas and innovation to the economies and communities of the region. UCA brings with it the commitment and partnership of the Aga Khan Development Network. For more information: