A classroom for the mountains | Devex (Part 2 of 3)

The Aga Khan’s vision for this startup international university is to deliver an educational experience on a par with the world’s elite institutions.

“I was educated at a research university, which is Harvard, and I believe that all countries need research universities. Those are the fora in which good research is done, in which young professionals are educated to perform.”


– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan,

responding to a question from  at the UCA Naryn inauguration October, 2016

Prince Karim Aga Khan IV talks to reporters at the UCA inauguration in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan. Photo by: Michael Igoe/Devex
Prince Karim Aga Khan IV talks to reporters at the UCA inauguration in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan. Photo by: Michael Igoe/Devex


Devex | Inside Development | Education
A classroom for the mountains
By Michael Igoe @AlterIgoe

13 January 2017

With a massive investment in three rural communities — Naryn in Kyrgyzstan, Khorog in Tajikistan, and Tekeli in Kazakhstan — the Aga Khan is developing world-class startup research universities in parts of the world where public budgets have collapsed and educational institutions have struggled to keep pace with global change.

For Lopes this university in remote Kyrgyzstan, backed by the immense resources and uncompromising vision of an Islamic royal billionaire, has presented an opportunity most academic theorists could only dream of: A well-funded blank slate on which to implement educational programs that reflect the cutting edge of what is known about learning.

The Aga Khan’s decision to place the three UCA branches in secondary towns away from Kyrgyzstan’s, Tajikistan’s and Kazakhstan’s capital cities was an integral part of his academic vision from the beginning.

Read the complete story at the source: https://www.devex.com/news/a-classroom-for-the-mountains-89424

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 two 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. Read part one here.


Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali


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Previously on Ismailimail…

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