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Speech by His Excellency Kanybek Imanaliev, Minister of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic

Distinguished Chairman of the Board of Trustees of UCA,

Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha,

Dear Princess Zahra Aga Khan and other Trustees of UCA,

Dear Governor, Dear Mayor!

Dear Faculty! Dear Students! And dear Parents!

Allow me to extend my congratulations on the remarkable outcome achieved through our fruitful collaboration! Today, we provide a ticket to a magnificent life to our children, the graduates of one of the few universities in the world whose energy is directed toward enhancing the quality of life of mountain communities.

Good luck, dear graduates!

I extend my sincere gratitude to His Highness Prince Aga Khan for his invaluable support and wisdom in establishing this remarkable institution. This institution has already produced tangible results, most notably in Naryn, where the campus of the University of Central Asia (UCA) has emerged as a crucial factor shaping the town's development. Positive changes are occurring in the town of Naryn, which have been made possible through the efforts of the Aga Khan Development Network.

Naryn residents actively benefit from the treatment and diagnostic centre as well as the Seitaaly Jakypov Park, while also enjoying the improved road and irrigation infrastructure. The initiatives of the Aga Khan Foundation have resulted in improved farming performance, with 26,000 farmers acquiring new skills. We welcome the new initiatives and projects of the Aga Khan Development Network in the Kyrgyz Republic.

I am honoured to extend a warm welcome to our esteemed guests from around the world, the generous donors who have provided invaluable support to UCA and the people of Naryn. First and foremost, allow me to express my gratitude for the targeted grants provided to children from low-income and vulnerable families. They have become students of a world-class university.

Dear guests!

Your assistance contributes to UCA's efforts in transforming Naryn into a vibrant university town. Today, there are 195 students studying in Naryn, including 78 from Kyrgyzstan and 20 from Naryn itself. We hold great hope for the continued growth in the numbers.

The establishment of quality standards at UCA, with the support of esteemed international partners such as Cambridge University, Simon Fraser University and Sydney University of Technology, is truly encouraging. The University of Central Asia collaborates with world-class universities. Duke University, Brown University, London Economics University, Singapore University and every other university that is ready to collaborate with us in order to develop the world are already showing what can be done.

UCA graduates have been able to secure decent jobs and are using their knowledge of economy, environment, technology, and society to contribute to the economic prosperity and sustainability of Kyrgyzstan.

UCA’s employability-driven courses in English language and technology, entrepreneurship and TVET [Technical and Vocational Education and Training] have been offered to 42,000 learners contributing to the development of the country. These complement the efforts of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in promoting employment, entrepreneurship and innovation for the youth.

The digital proficiency training, in partnership with the Kyrgyz Ministry of Digital Development, to over a thousand civil servants; training in urban resilience for 60 high-level civil officials, and entrepreneurship training in green technology solutions in the construction sector are aligned with the government priorities.

I am truly delighted to hear about the launch of a Master’s Programme in Sustainable Development and future plans for a doctoral programme which will act as a hub of research and development excellence for the region.

We deeply appreciate the collaboration to support the Naryn State University, where UCA is assisting NSU in enhancing academic programmes.

I am also delighted to announce that I have recently participated in and received the baton for the upcoming Global Forum ‘Schools2030’ with the theme ‘Education for Everyone – Opportunities for All’. And I am announcing that the next forum will be held in Kyrgyzstan.

Dear graduates! I extend my heartfelt wishes for success in your academic and professional endeavours!

Dear parents! Your dedication, care, and love have contributed to the success of our graduates. Thank you very much!

I wish UCA continued success in undertaking new, unique, and captivating projects and programmes!

I would like to extend my gratitude to His Highness the Aga Khan, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, the members of the Board of Trustees, the dedicated UCA faculty and staff, and our esteemed guests, who are doing their best for UCA's sustainability!

A special thanks to the philanthropists and supporters who contribute to the development of philanthropy, enabling the support of mountain communities in Kyrgyzstan and worldwide.

Thank you!