A world-class university town | Devex (Part 1 of 3)

With the Tian Shan mountains visible behind him, Mawlana Hazar Imam addresses members of the press in Naryn. Photo Gary Otte
With the Tian Shan mountains visible behind him, Mawlana Hazar Imam addresses members of the press in Naryn. Photo Gary Otte

The Aga Khan’s vision seems to defy logic. How will a world class university survive in a place few have ever heard of and fewer still would ever think to visit? Why build it here, in a remote mountain town? In a region with so many needs, why not focus on something simpler, such as basic health care or primary education?

“When I have talked about this project with people in all parts of the world over these past 16 years, many of them have been a little bit surprised,” said the Aga Khan, now 79 years old, at the Naryn campus inauguration ceremony in October. While he spoke, some members of UCA’s inaugural undergraduate class wept with joy and reverence.

Source: https://www.devex.com/news/a-world-class-university-town-89014

About the author

Michael Igoe – @AlterIgoe is a senior correspondent for Devex. Based in Washington, D.C., he covers U.S. foreign aid and emerging trends in international development and humanitarian policy. Michael draws on his experience as both a journalist and international development practitioner in Central Asia to develop stories from an insider’s perspective.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part one of a three-part Devex series that examines the Aga Khan’s plan to create a new model for higher education in Central Asia, where the opportunity to achieve academic excellence is usually found somewhere else.

 


Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali


 

 

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