Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Minister of Education and Senior Academics Applaud UCA’s Ambitious Approach to Higher Education in Naryn

Date: 11 March 2016
During a visit to the University of Central Asia’s campus on 4 March 2016, His Excellency Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Temir Sariev called Naryn “a place to watch” and praised UCA’s decision to invest to establish a world class university in the mountain region of Naryn.

His Excellency Premier Temir Sariev addressing 60 rectors and school directors from across the Kyrgyz Republic at University of Central Asia.
“Here we have UCA, which is building a world class, fully-residential campus, capitalising on the beauty of the region and offering high quality education. It is breaking the stereotypical view of mountain communities as remote and disconnected by transforming Naryn into a centre of excellence and innovation. The Government is a proud Founder State of this visionary and ambitious endeavour,” said the Premier.
His remarks were delivered at a higher education forum attended by 60 rectors of the country’s leading universities and directors of secondary schools, organised by the Ministry of Education and Science as part of a visit to UCA’s Naryn campus. 
Addressing the country’s educators, Minister of Education and Science Elvira Sarieva emphasised the government’s support for the University.
Minister of Education and Science Elvira Sarieva emphasising the government's support to the University. Seated from left, Prime Minister Temir Sariev, Naryn Governor Amanbay Kayipov and Dr Bohdan Krawcenko Director General and Dean of Graduate Studies (standing).
 “The Government at the highest levels is looking forward to the launch of UCA’s undergraduate programme. We want students to know that they need not spend money to travel overseas when they can stay in their home country and receive an international standard of education right here in Naryn. At the Naryn campus, students will experience an immersive, residential university experience, where learning is the central focus of campus life,” said Sarieva.
Vice Prime Minister for Social Affairs Gulmira Kudayberdieva and Naryn Governor Amanbay Kayipov also addressed the forum, which was attended by Naryn Mayor Rakhat Adiev and other officials. Earlier in the day, Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Executive Chairman of the UCA Board Executive Committee and Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General and Dean of Graduate Studies, received the group and conducted the campus tour.
“The University of Central Asia is excited to join the community of educators in the Kyrgyz Republic dedicated to engaging with issues of quality and access to higher education,” said Kassim-Lakha. “We are privileged to share our efforts at UCA with these distinguished academic leaders and look forward to learning from the breadth of their experience and perspective.”
Executive Chairman of the UCA Board Executive Committee Shamsh Kassim-Lakha (centre, left) conducting a Naryn campus tour for the Premier (centre, right) and his government delegation.
The Forum featured presentations from national experts and addressed themes that resonated with UCA’s goals, including digital schools, the development of technology parks or hubs promoting high technology and attracting foreign students to the Kyrgyz Republic.  The University’s Naryn campus opens in September 2016 with an undergraduate programme offering two specialisations: Computer Science; and Communications and Media. As one of the speakers from Kyrgyz Republic’s technology industry noted, Naryn could emerge as a technology hub“that connects the Kyrgyz Republic to the world.” 
The Prime Minister’s visit followed a UCA Community Open House held in Naryn on 29 February. Nearly 300 people, including the Governor and Mayor of Naryn, community leaders and educators from Naryn and surrounding communities, toured the campus and attended a town hall meeting to learn about the undergraduate programme and the admissions campaign currently underway. As a result of the overwhelming number of student queries, the University announced it would be extending the application deadline for admissions to 15 April.
UCA is building three residential campuses of the same stature, facility and standards, and the Naryn campus will enrol its first students in September 2016. The second campus opening in Khorog, Tajikistan in September 2017 will offer Economics as well as Earth and Environmental Sciences. The third campus, at Tekeli, Kazakhstan is anticipated in 2019 and will offer Engineering Sciences and Business and Management.
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