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Speech by Dr Farrukh Hudoydodzoda, Head, Department of International Relations of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan

Dear Chairman, Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha and Members of the Board of the Trustees;

Dr Maxim Khomyakov;

Dear guests, faculty, staff and graduates of the University of Central Asia;

First of all, on behalf of myself and on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic, I would like to sincerely congratulate the graduates of the class of 2023 for successfully graduating from the University of Central Asia, and wish them great success in their future work and education. Congratulations dear graduates! Congratulations.

Dear colleagues, dear participants, as you all know, the University of Central Asia was founded in 2000 through an International Treaty signed by the Presidents of the Republic of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Ismaili Imamat. The first campus of the University was launched in 2016 in the city of Naryn, Kyrgyzstan, and the second campus of the University was officially inaugurated on September 14, 2018 in the city of Khorog by the Founder of Peace and National Unity, the Leader of the Nation, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, His Excellency Emomali Rahmon.

At the official opening ceremony of the Khorog campus, the Founder of Peace and National Unity, the Leader of the Nation, Emomali Rahmon noted:

"The University of Central Asia in the city of Khorog is a new page in the system of higher education of the country... I believe that the activity of the newly established university is not only for the benefit of our country, but will serve to expand the multilateral cooperation of the countries of the region in the field of education."

I am happy to note that since that time, in keeping with the advice of President Rahmon, the University of Central Asia has had a very fruitful cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan. Among the many areas of collaboration I am happy to recall the following successes.

Prior to the official opening of UCA, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan signed a MoU with the UCA, which significantly contributes to the development of the educational and methodological activities of the University.

For the development of math and natural sciences, UCA in cooperation with the "Talent Acquisition and Development Center" organised Olympiads in mathematics, biology and chemistry for 370 high school students from different regions of Tajikistan.

More than 90 percent of the graduates of 2021 and 2022 are employed mostly within the region, and some were admitted to graduate programmes of world-renowned universities such as Simon Fraser University, University of Michigan, University of Tsukuba Japan, and University of Alberta, and also other universities.

All students undergo internship training and practical training at various institutions in the country.

Since the start of its operation in Tajikistan in 2006, UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education, through its seven learning centres in Dushanbe, Bokhtar, Khujand and Khorog, has provided short training courses and certificate programmes in English, IT, Entrepreneurship, Academic Achievement Programmes, technical vocational education programmes in carpentry, construction, plumbing, auto-mechanics, general construction, electrician and repair of home appliances to over 119,000 of learners.

In 2023, the School of Professional and Continuing Education opened its seventh learning centre in the city of Khujand, and at the moment waiting for the licence to inaugurate the established Learning Centre in Kulob City. In the nearest future, the opening of such an educational centre in the city of Dangara is also planned. These centres teach the English language, information technology (including coding, Python, digital marketing), academic achievement programme, accounting and many other courses based on the market needs.

In 2023, the University of Central Asia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tajik National University for cooperation in the field of geosciences, and has already established cooperation within this framework.

The University of Central Asia and Khorog State University named after Moyonsho Nazarshoev have conducted a number of studies in the Faculty of Economics and the Department of Geology. UCA has established at KSU four geological laboratories, opened a digital library, organised sessions on English language for 55 teachers, provided equipment to improve Internet and provided about 800 books.

Among various research projects, UCA’s Mountain Societies Research Institute launched a project funded by USAID designed to address how changes in water supplies and associated runoff affect the production of hydropower and agriculture in Tajikistan. MSRI scientists presented two papers at the European Geosciences Conference in Vienna last year and worked with three partner institutes, Kulob Botanical Garden, Pamir Biological Institute, Pamir Agricultural Research Center on various research projects.

And finally, in 2022, the three-year Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development-sponsored project on ‘Sustainable Infrastructure Development’ was launched by UCA’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration, through the inaugural summer school held at Issyk-Kul lake. The summer school brought together international experts on sustainable infrastructure development along with approximately 25 government representatives from Central Asia, including from Tajikistan. A digital platform, with learning materials, has been created and a series of events are planned leading up to the second summer school.

Dear participants, I am delighted that the University of Central Asia has established close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan and other educational agencies of the Republic of Tajikistan and I am confident that it will make a significant contribution to the education of the country in the future.

I wish you all the best and success, dear graduates of 2023 and also the parents, I wish you all big successes in the future. Be proud and be successful.