About the University of Central Asia

One University, Three Schools

"It is important to know that what we are doing here will be a valuable example of international cooperation for the future not only here in the region, but also for people far beyond the region." His Highness the Aga Khan
UCA Naryn Campus Inauguration Ceremony (Naryn, Kyrgyzstan, October 19th 2016)

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 Patrons of the University and His Highness is the Chancellor. UCA brings with it the broader commitment and partnership of the Aga Khan Development Network.

As a university focused on the development of mountain societies, UCA's undergraduate programmes are located at its purpose-built world class residential campuses in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan, and Khorog, Tajikistan near the Tien Shan and Pamir mountains respectively. The Tekeli campus in the mountain ranges of Kazakhstan is expected to start classes in 2022. The towns of Naryn, Khorog, and Tekeli offer culturally and ecologically rich environments and communities. By locating the campuses in secondary cities and rural settings, UCA hopes to be at the heart of an intellectual and economic transformation in the region. The campuses are also located along the Silk Road, a historic trade and transportation route, which for centuries facilitated the global exchange of goods, cultures, and ideas.

UCA consists of three schools including:

UCA's School of Arts and Sciences also includes the Cooperative Education Programme, Central Asian Faculty Development Programme, Education Improvement Programme, and the Summer Upgrading Programme.


The mission of UCA 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 seeks to contribute leadership, ideas, and innovations to the transitioning economies and communities of the region through educational and vigorous research programmes that produce knowledgeable, skilled, and creative graduates.

UCA in Numbers

UCA Undergraduate Student Profile

students at UCA's Naryn and Khorog campuses

countries represented

Central Asian Countries



Russia, Iran, Syria, Kenya


From small towns and rural areas

Key Stats *

learners (53% women) trained by the School of Professional and Continuing Education across 14 locations in Central Asia and Afghanistan

graduates across 87 affiliated universities and colleges were taught humanities through the Aga Khan Humanities Project

civil servants trained in governance and public policy in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan

* Updated April 2020

2018 Annual Report
UCA's Annual Report for 2018 highlights the University's significant academic and research achievements.
[ Read more in English or Russian ]

UCA Brochure
This brochure provides an overview of UCA's programmes and activities.
[ Read more in English or Russian]


UCA is an international endeavour built on partnerships that promote the exchange of information and resources, the creation of opportunities, and the promotion of excellence in higher education within and beyond Central Asia. UCA partnerships cross political borders and sectors. Generous financial support from the region's governments, the international donor community, philanthropists, and His Highness the Aga Khan and have enabled the University to undertake this unique aim endeavour.

UCA offers a wide range of gift opportunities which can be tailored to the specific interests, desires, and aspirations of donors.
[ Learn more about how to support UCA ]

The following institutional partners have contributed to UCA's programmes, and their support is gratefully acknowledged.

Academic Partners

Institutional Partners

  • Aga Khan Education Service
  • Aga Khan Foundation
  • Aga Khan University
  • Agricultural Institute of Slovenia
  • Almaty Management University (ALMA), Kazakhstan
  • Awali Group, Canada
  • Badakhshan University, Afghanistan
  • Bamyan University, Afghanistan
  • BMBF (German Federal Ministry for Education and Research)
  • British Council
  • Cambridge Assessment English
  • Canadian Bureau for International Education Canadian Embassy, Kazakhstan
  • Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences, Kyrgyzstan
  • University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Certified International Professional Accountant Examination Network
  • Coca-Cola Foundation
  • College of the Rockies, Canada
  • Department for International Development (DFID), UK
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD)
  • Embassy of the United States in Tajikistan
  • Embassy of the Netherlands in Kabul, Afghanistan
  • European Commission (TEMPUS)
  • Computer Driving License Foundation
  • European Union of Kyrgyzstan
  • GFZ German Research Centre for Geoscience
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection program (GSLEP)
  • Arabaev Kyrgyz State University
  • ICRAF – World Agroforestry Centre
  • Institute of Humanities in Khorog, Tajikistan
  • International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
  • International Mountain Society (IMS)
  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
  • International Security and Development Center (ISDC), Berlin, Germany
  • Khorog State University, Tajikistan
  • Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank
  • Kyrgyz National University
  • Kyrgyz Russian Slavonic University
  • Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), Halle, Germany
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
  • Mountain Partnership of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy
  • Naryn State University, Kyrgyzstan
  • National Academy of Science of the Kyrgyz Republic
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
  • Palladium, London, England
  • Pamir Energy Company, Tajikistan
  • Public Association for Innovative Practices (PAIP)
  • Regional Pasture Network, GIZ
  • Russian Academy of Geography
  • Snow Leopard Trust
  • State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry
  • Sustainable Mountain Development for Global Change
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
  • Tajik Academic of Sciences
  • Teacher Training College Ishkashim, Afghanistan
  • Teacher Training College Nusay, Afghanistan
  • Teacher Training College Shughnan, Afghanistan
  • The World Bank
  • UK CSSF (Conflict Stability and Security Fund)
  • United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • United Nations Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
  • United States Peace Corps
  • University of Cambridge, UK
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