AUCA Moving Forward

Activity Dates: 
September 2010 – october 2015

Activity Area: 

Implementing partner:
American University of Central Asia

Activity Overview

Higher education institutions in Kyrgyzstan have changed in significant ways since 1991 but face critical challenges such as finding and recruiting qualified faculty and satisfying government mandates to promote research and development. Private sector employers still play a very small role in higher education, especially in regards to curriculum development. Kyrgyzstan’s policy of free access to university, rapidly growing youth population, and fast-paced democratic trajectory all place added pressure on these institutions to prepare tomorrow’s leaders.

AUCA is an international, multi-disciplinary university in the American liberal arts tradition. The AUCA Moving Forward project focuses on fostering faculty development; recruiting a more diverse student body; providing scholarships for students across Central Asia; upgrading technology systems for academic and admissions processes and for distance learning; and developing the university as a resource for the wider community.

Key Achievements

• Established a partnership with Bard College in the U.S. to offer accredited bachelor degrees in liberal arts and study abroad opportunities;

• 215 scholarships awarded to Kyrgyzstani students;

• 11 faculty supported in short term teaching positions or year-long research experiences abroad;

• Improved  human resource, student services, financial aid and information, and admissions systems;

• Developed curriculum for new courses related to Central Asia and the Environment and Sustainability;

• Assisted the Central Asian Studies Institute’s capacity to develop and implement new master’s degree programs;

• Established the Tien Shan Policy Center support research, debate, and policy reform on issues such as energy security, business investment, and democratic procedures;

• Improved the Continuing Education Center’s ability to address educational needs through the Teaching Excellence program and the Children’s Academy of Talent Development; and,

• Improved the capacity of Kyrgyz public and private universities to assist students and recent graduates in their transition from education to employment.