In 2016, the University of Central Asia (UCA) opened its first undergraduate campus in Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic and welcomed the future class of 2021.
Nestled in a rural mountain community, UCA has a unique focus on the social and economic development of the Central Asia region. Students are immersed in a fully residential campus environment and are encouraged to exchange ideas and learn from each other.
Founded in 2000 through a partnership between the Aga Khan Development Network and the Governments of Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Kazakhstan, the university offers a globally recognized standard of higher education in the region.
UCA in Numbers
are from small towns and rural areas
are represented in UCA’s undergraduate student body
Meet a few members of UCA’s Class of 2021 below:
Major: Earth and Environmental Sciences
I have a better understanding of and can explain the main challenges my own community faces: how climate change has influenced mountainous societies and how we can address these issues.
At UCA, I have made many friends and connections from different parts of the world. The university also created good opportunities for us students to meet with new people who are studying and working in our selected fields.
As a student majoring in Earth and Environmental Sciences, field study helps me put into practice the concepts I have learned in lectures and seminars. The unique settings of both Naryn and Khorog campuses served as an exceptional field to study different types of rocks, minerals, and soil. I was also able to observe the physical impacts of climate change on the mountainous environment, through rockfalls, avalanches, and debris flows.
Summer and winter internships have also greatly enhanced my education experience. I have a better understanding of and can explain the main challenges my own community faces: how climate change has influenced mountainous societies and how we can address these issues.
Despite its young age, UCA has created hundreds of local jobs, while the scholars and their students have been conducting research to helped improve the environment and wellbeing of the local community.
For me, UCA represents hope and faith in the future of my community and my country.
Major: Communications and Media Studies
Outside of the classroom, being a leader and serving the community were also a necessary part of my journey. Being a volunteer teacher for five years is one of the ways I gave back by helping others access education.
I would choose the University of Central Asia over and over because of its uniqueness, how it cares for students, and for making a difference in the community.
The five years I have spent at UCA were full of various initiatives, internships, and extracurricular activities. I was on Dean’s list for academic achievements four years in a row. Outside of the classroom, being a leader and serving the community were also a necessary part of my journey.
During the preparatory program, I started teaching English to secondary school students on weekends. Being a volunteer teacher for five years is one of the ways I gave back by helping others access education.
In 2019, I spent five weeks in Auburn, Washington state along with 88 participants from developing countries in the Women’s Leadership Program. This intense program strengthened my leadership skills and interest in independent gender studies.
UCA taught me how to be strong and brave… and I am fully ready to start a new chapter of my life.
Major: Computer Science
It was an extraordinary experience, studying in Naryn. I learned so much and gained a multitude of life skills.
I feel lucky to have had an opportunity to obtain my undergraduate degree at UCA.
It was an extraordinary experience, studying in Naryn. Even though it’s remote and isolated, I never felt cut off from the rest of the world. I learned so much and gained a multitude of life skills.
During my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to participate in a range of conferences held by the university. In my junior year, I volunteered at the Digital Transformations conference organized by UCA and Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Bishkek. There, I met a range of experts in the field of digitization and various governmental heads. At the second part of the conference, held at the Naryn campus, I was able to participate at a hackathon, presenting my project focused on improving the learning experience of children with dyslexia.