The University of Central Asia (UCA) was founded in 2000 as a private, not for profit, secular university through an International Treaty signed by the Presidents of the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan, and His Highness the Aga Khan; ratified by their respective parliaments, and registered with the United Nations. The Presidents are the Patrons of the University and His Highness is the Chancellor. UCA’s mission is to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia, particularly its mountain communities, by offering an internationally recognised standard of higher education, and enabling the peoples of the region to preserve their rich cultural heritage as assets for the future. UCA brings with it the broader commitment and partnership of the Aga Khan Development Network.
UCA consists of three schools including the Undergraduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Development (Institute of Public Policy and Administration, Mountain Societies Research Institute, Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit), and the School of Professional and Continuing Education. UCA also includes the Central Asian Faculty Development Programme, and the Aga Khan Humanities Project. UCA’s undergraduate programmes are located at its residential campuses in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan, and Khorog, Tajikistan. The Tekeli campus in Kazakhstan is expected to start classes in 2022.