06/10 16:12

AUCA moving forward with USAID

  The United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has awarded the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) a US$ 2.7 million grant to improve its learning environment through the creation of new programs for students and enhanced faculty development and technology upgrades. With the help of the USAID AUCA Moving Forward grant, AUCA will develop programs of academic excellence that will attract international attention and distinguish AUCA as the premier intellectual hub of Central Asia. One such initiative is the launch of the Institute for Central Asian Studies. This Institute will craft policy recommendations and drive research on topics relating to the political, social, economic and cultural development of Central Asia in collaboration with local faculty familiar with the particular needs of Kyrgyzstan and the region in general. The programs supported by USAID will also make it possible for AUCA faculty members to acquire experience at institutions of higher education in the U.S. and elsewhere, and bring that knowledge and expertise back to Kyrgyzstan. AUCA will also upgrade technology systems to more efficiently respond to the needs of the students, faculty, and staff. The USAID grant will support institutional development of AUCA over the next three years. “The generous support of USAID will allow AUCA to broaden our reach, raise the quality of our undergraduate education, and develop world-class research programs in areas of international need,” emphasized Dr. Andrew B. Wachtel, President of AUCA. While undergraduate liberal arts education will remain the primary focus of AUCA; the institution will further enhance its broad-based continuing education program which offers shorter, non-degree courses to the Kyrgyz community in practical fields such as entrepreneurship, accounting and foreign language. There are approximately 1200 students currently enrolled at AUCA representing 20 countries: Afghanistan, Belgium, China, Germany, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mexico, Pakistan, Russian Federation, South Korea, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and the United States. AUCA will continue to recruit a diverse student body while providing merit-based and need-based scholarships for students from Central Asia. “USAID is very pleased to support AUCA as an important institution of higher learning in Kyrgyzstan, and hopes this new grant will assist in making the University a center of excellence in higher education both for this country and elsewhere in the region,” remarked Carey N. Gordon, Acting Country Director of USAID in Kyrgyzstan.


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