The University of Central Asia (UCA) and the National Research University’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) have signed a partnership agreement in Moscow.

According to UCA, the document was inked by Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of UCA, and Dr. Ivan Prostakov, Vice Rector of the National Research University, on February 14.

HSE will develop curriculum for UCA’s undergraduate program in Economics and contribute towards faculty development. UCA has the field experience and data on economic challenges in Central Asia, and HSE will provide the analytical expertise, including exchange of faculty and students, and collaborate on joint research.

At the signing, Dr. Prostakov said the partnership would enable collaboration on some of the more challenging economic issues of Central Asia and its mountain societies.  Citing UCA’s presence in the region, and HSE’s disciplinary expertise, he indicated that the two universities are well equipped to co-develop curriculum and relevant research.

“UCA is delighted to enter into its first formal partnership with an institution in the Russian Federation,” said Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha.  “The support from the Higher School of Economics for our undergraduate curriculum in Economics is particularly relevant because of its recognized standing in the field and understanding of the context of Central Asia.”

The partnership reportedly also includes developing Russian language writing courses for delivery at UCA’s campuses in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.  While UCA’s curriculum is in English, Russian courses will be offered to enhance students’ academic and professional writing skills, ensuring professional proficiency upon graduation.

UCA was founded in the year 2000. The Presidents of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and His Highness the Aga Khan signed an International Treaty and Charter to establish this secular, private, not-for-profit University.  The treaty was ratified by the respective parliaments and registered with the United Nations.  The Presidents of the three host countries are Patrons of UCA, and His Highness the Aga Khan is the Chancellor.  UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences began classes in Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic, in September 2016, and the campus in Khorog, Tajikistan, is expected to open in September 2017.  UCA was established to offer an internationally recognized standard of higher education in Central Asia and prepare graduates to contribute leadership, ideas, and innovation to the economies and communities of the region.

UCA’s mission is to foster the socio-economic development of Central Asia, particularly its mountain societies, while helping the peoples of the region preserve and draw upon their rich cultural heritages as assets for the future.  UCA brings with it the commitment and partnership of the Aga Khan Development Network.

Consistently ranked as one of Russia’s top universities, the National Research University’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) is a leader in Russian education and one of the preeminent economics and social sciences universities in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.  Faculty, researchers, and students represent over 50 countries, and are dedicated to maintaining the highest academic standards.