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UCA Welcomes the Class of 2028 with the Resonance of Bells

School of Arts & Sciences
7 September 2023

The University of Central Asia's School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) welcomed 105 new students of the Class of 2028, along with 287 students from the returning cohorts, with its traditional Bell Ringing Ceremony at its residential campuses in Khorog, Tajikistan and Naryn, Kyrgyzstan. The Bell Ringing Ceremony is a cherished tradition at UCA, signifying the start of a new chapter in the lives of our incoming students. The sound of the bell also represents the ringing of knowledge, carrying profound symbolism.

SAS, based on the Liberal Arts approach to teaching and learning, offers Bachelors Degree programmes with majors in Computer Science, Communications and Media, Global Economics, and Earth and Environmental Sciences.  Future plans include majors in Engineering Sciences and Business Management.  SAS students have a demonstrated record of academic achievements as well as all-round excellence. They are winners of academic competitions, passionate advocates for the disadvantaged, talented artists and musicians, award-winning athletes, and enthusiastic volunteers. Over 70% of students come from rural areas and over 80% from UCA’s Founding States, reflecting UCA’s commitment to educating and supporting bright young adults from the most remote corners of Central Asia. Over 15% also come from countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, Syria, and Kenya. SAS has so far graduated 197 students, of whom 52% are females. SAS graduates have been admitted, several on full scholarships, to internationally recognized universities including Brown, Duke, Michigan, and National University of Singapore.

The Ceremony witnessed the presence of senior Tajik and Kyrgyz government officials, including Mr. Altynbek Ergeshov, Governor of Naryn Oblast, and Mr Aminjon Mirzoqandov, Head of the Education Department of GBAO Oblast, Tajikistan. Both speakers recognised and applauded UCA’s commitment to the development of the region.

Addressing the audience, Mr Mirzoqandov stated, "It should be noted that the University of Central Asia has been steadily advancing its cooperation with the various structures of the Government of Tajikistan, local authorities of the region and its cities and districts, universities, institutes and organizations.”

In his remarks, Governor Ergeshov mentioned, "I would like to emphasise that with the opening of the University of Central Asia in Naryn City, an international center of education and culture has emerged...UCA, as a social partner, has already successfully implemented a series of investment projects aimed at the development of the Naryn city and the Naryn region.”

Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of UCA, sent a video message during the Ceremony reminding students, “Recall that UCA has a significant position in the communities where our campuses are located. You will be seen by them as the face of UCA – as Ambassadors of UCA. We therefore expect you to become valuable members and contributors to the communities of Khorog and Naryn; and not just to life on your campus.”

Highlighting UCA’s commitment to quality education, Dr Maxim Khomyakov, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, said, "Learning today is not something confined to the schools; the very life of the human being is nowadays co-extensive with learning. Today, learning has become a life-long practice, and the universities cannot anymore claim monopoly for it. That is why the best universities today aim at providing skills for future learning. They make the graduates capable of independent studies...The University of Central Asia is such a university.” The Associate Deans, Dr Soheil Ashrafi and Dr Kholiknazar Kuchakshoev, also joined the celebrations.  

Greeting the incoming class, Dr Christopher Gerry, Dean of UCA’s Graduate School of Development, said, “Now, in being part of UCA, you are also part of a unique idea and the realisation of a distinctive vision. A vision for a multi-campus, multi-country university located in and focused upon the development and quality of life of the mountain societies, economies and communities of Central Asia.”

During the Ceremony, the Class of 2028 presented to UCA faculty a Legacy Book containing the signatures of all cohorts that came before them. In addition, they sealed heartfelt letters to their future selves in a Time Capsule, to be opened upon their graduation.

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Bell Ringing, Khorog Campus, Anis Tohirov, student of the Class of 2028 handovers the Time Capsule to Dean Khomyakov on behalf of his Class. L to R: Dr Kholiknazar Kuchakshoev and Mr Aminjon Mirzoqandov.

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Bell Ringing, Naryn Campus. L to R: Altynbek Ergeshov, Dr Christopher Gerry, and Dr Soheil Ashrafi.

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Students of the Class of 2028, faculty, and staff with guests of the Bell Ringing Ceremony at UCA’s Khorog Campus.

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Students of the Class of 2028 UCA faculty and staff with guests of the Bell Ringing Ceremony at UCA’s Naryn Campus.

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