Canadian Ambassador Visits University of Central Asia in Naryn

Date: 02 October 2014
The Canadian Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, H.E Shawn Steil, visited the University of Central Asia (UCA) in Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic on 2 October 2014, accompanied by the Embassy’s Counsellor, Ms Catherine Ivkoff and Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in the Kyrgyz Republic and Chair of the UCA Board Executive Committee and Mr Grant Robertson, UCA Director of Construction.. Since 2012, Canada and Canadian institutions have provided substantial support for the University.
At the University’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) Town Campus, Ambassador Steil toured the facility, met with instructors and students and received a briefing about UCA’s programmes and facilities in the Kyrgyz Republic. 
The Canadian Delegation was pleased to learn SPCE offers certificate and short-term courses and programmes in over 30 areas, giving young people and adults professional and vocational qualifications that improve employment and income generating opportunities. Since 2006, when it opened, SPCE has reached over 19.000 learners in the Kyrgyz Republic. (Bit too detailed.)
The Canadian delegation his delegation then visited UCA’s main campus site, located a few kilometres outside Naryn Town, to view progress on campus construction. Phase I of campus construction, which includes an academic block and two dormitories is underway. The University is scheduled to open its doors to its first undergraduate class in 2016.
“We are honoured to welcome Ambassador Steil and his delegation to our Naryn facilities so they can see our current programmes in operation and bear witness to the progress we are making towards future operations,” said Roberston, Director of Construction, “The Canadian government is a key supporter of UCA and our partnerships with Canadian universities are enriching our programmes.”
UCA’s Research and Public Policy Initiative is supported by the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC). It aims to ground policy-making processes in Afghanistan and Central Asia in sound evidence and policy analysis by building the capacity researchers and expanding the ability of policy professionals to utilise research in policy development. 
The Unviersity’s Regional Cooperation and Confidence Building project, which supported the establishment of UCA’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA), was funded by the (then) Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). The initiative also supported activities on micro, small and medium enterprises and regional trade and IPPA’s Visiting Research Fellows Programme.
UCA is also working with the Carleton University, the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia on the development and delivery of professional development, undergraduate and preparatory academic programmes, and the design and implementation of research on mountain societies.
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