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  • 7/9/2003

American University - Central Asia


AUCA is an American-style liberal arts university that offers high quality academic programs to qualified students from all over the world. It is the first and only higher education institution in Central Asia that functions according to the American model, with a credit-hour system, an American-style curriculum, and a commitment to democratic values, to freedom of expression and inquiry, and to academic integrity and honesty.

History of the University

The American University in Kyrgyzstan was founded in 1997, but its antecedent was the Kyrgyz-American School (KAS) of the Kyrgyz State National University. In 1992 Camilla Sharshekeeva [an educator from the Kyrgyz State National University (KSNU)] proposed creating a new educational institution in Kyrgyzstan, and Camilla, along with a few colleagues resolved to start a new and independent University. On April 6th, 1993, the dean of KSNU signed the decree to open the Kyrgyz - American School, and Camilla Sharshekeeva was appointed the first dean of KAS.

KAS opened its doors and enrolled its first 42 students on the 15th of September, 1993. In attendance at the official grand opening of the Kyrgyz-American School were the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Askar Akaev, and the Vice-President of the United States, Albert Gore. The official birth of AUK took place four years later in 1997 when, by Presidential decree, KAS officially became the American University in Kyrgyzstan. The University was made possible by a three-way agreement between the government of Kyrgyzstan, the United States Department of State, and the Open Society Institute, all of whom signed a memorandum of understanding, agreeing to provide support for the young University.
AUK graduated its first students on June 14, 1997. The main speakers were Askar Akaev, President of the Republic.

Since 1993 the University has experienced rapid development, adding new curricula, new programs, and new services. AUK has ongoing relationships with several leading American universities. For the last three years University has maintained a relationship with the University of Nebraska, originally funded by a Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs grant. In 1994 BECA provided to AUK a second grant that has funded a faculty development project overseen by a consortium of four US universities (Universities of Washington-Seattle and Hawaii, George Washington and Brown Universities) and administered by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). In May, 1999, a BECA partner university grant for $1.9 million over three years was awarded to a consortium of Indiana universities, led by IU Bloomington.

AUK at a glance

Quick Facts

- 10 years of academic excellence
- 11 academic programs
- 1000 students
- 160 international students
- from 27 countries
- 65% of students receive financial aid
- around 240 students enroll each year
- with average 500 TOEFL score
- 6 classes graduated
- 203 faculty
- 35 international faculty
- 300 courses per semester
- over 59 170 library volumes
- 197 computers campus wide

The Academic Programs of the AUCA

AUCA's academic programs have been worked out in accordance with international standards and requirements for a Bachelor's Degree. Programs are designed to be completed in four years for full time students. Graduates receive a Bachelor's Degree, a Kyrgyz State diploma and an American standard diploma. This gives students the opportunity to continue their education in the US, Europe and other countries.

For the academic year of 2002-2003 AUK offers training in the following specialties:


. Anglo-American Studies

. Austrian & German Studies

. Business Administration

. Economics

. International & Comparative Politics

. Journalism

. Kyrgyz Ethnology

. Law

. Psychology

. Sociology

.Information Technology


Master of Business Administration

* There is also aPreparatory year program for applicants who do not have enough knowledge of English or Russian to enter an undergraduate program.

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