University of Central Asia (UCA)

Project Overview

Project Title University of Central Asia (UCA)
Project Number
Country Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan
Overall Project Value(EUR) Not Assigned
Project Start – Project End January 1, 2000–
Project Status Active

Funding and Implementing Organizations

Origin of Funding Other
Project Budget(EUR)
Implementing Organization / Consortium

Aga Khan Development Network
Asian Development Bank
Asian Institute of Technology
British Council
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ)
Canadian International Development Agency
Carleton University
Certified International Professional Accountant Examination Network (CIPA-EN)
Cornell University
DAMU National Enterprise Development Foundation
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK)
Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD)
European Commission
Flora and Fauna International
Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ)
Government of France
Government of Norway
Government of Kazakhstan
Government of Kyrgyz Republic
Government of Tajikistan
Indian Council on Cultural Relations
International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL)
Japan International Cooperation Agency
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Mountain Partnership
Michigan State University
National University of Singapore
National Centre for Competency in Research North-South (NCCR-NS)
Nur Foundation
Open Society Institute
Peace Corps
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
The Christensen Fund
The World Bank
United Nations Environment Programme
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of State
University of Alberta
University of Bern
University of Cambridge
University of Exeter
University of Manchester
University of Ottawa
University of Toronto

Contact / Team Leader / Project Team

University of Central Asia
Central Administration Office
138 Toktogul Street
Bishkek 720001


Project Summary, Objectives and Results

Project Summary

The University of Central Asia (UCA) was created to offer an internationally recognized standard of higher education in Central Asia and create knowledgeable, skilled and creative graduates who will contribute leadership, ideas and innovations to the transitioning economies and communities of the region. The 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’s three campuses will be in Tekeli, Kazakhstan; Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic and Khorog, Tajikistan. These sites were selected because they are hubs of substantial mountain communities at regional crossroads.

Project Objectives

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.

With the understanding that education is central to development, UCA programmes are geared towards addressing key social and economic issues facing the region and particularly mountain communities.

To reach the broadest spectrum of learners possible, UCA offers a range of internationally recognized academic programmes, including undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree courses, non-degree preparatory courses for incoming degree candidates, and vocational, professional development and distance education courses for students and professionals beyond the three UCA campuses.

Education Sector HE
Components of the Education Process Career planning, Education Management, Institutional strengthening & capacity building, Mobility and international exchange, Standards and curriculum development
Occupational Field Art, Economy, Trade, Business and Administration, Interdisciplinary Sciences, Philosophy, Ethnology, History, Political Sciences, Public Administration , Public Affairs, Sociology, Psychology, Educational Science
Target Groups Learners (scholar, student, apprentice etc.), Lecturers, teachers, instructors, trainers
Related Projects

The first degree offered was 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 was 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 focus on research, but ultimately offer specialized degrees.

The School of Undergraduate Studies offers a four-year degree to instill graduates with global knowledge, leadership skills, and initiative. The course includes 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.

The Graduate School of Development consists of six institutes addressing the unique resources and needs of the region while creating a pool of highly skilled professionals and decision-makers in, among others:
• Business and Economic Development
• Public Administration
• Rural Development
• Tourism and Leisure
• Education Policy
• Environment and Natural Resource Management


Project Results

Links and Materials

Link to project relevant data