American University of Central Asia

American University of Central Asia

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{{peacock|date=January 2010}} :''This article is about the university in Bishkek. For the university in Naryn, see [[University of Central Asia]].'' [[Image:Auca.jpg|thumb|right|300px|The American University of Central Asia]] The [http://www.auca.kg '''American University of Central Asia''' ('''AUCA''')], formerly the ''Kyrgyz-American University'', is a [[liberal arts]] [[University]] located in [[Bishkek]], the capital of the former [[Soviet]] republic of [[Kyrgyzstan]]. AUCA was established in 1997 with funding from the [[United States]] government and the [[Open Society Institute]], a non-government donor organization set up by Hungarian philanthropist [[George Soros]]. One of its founders was [[human rights]] attorney and journalist [[Scott Horton (attorney)|Scott Horton]]. While the university focuses on offering higher education opportunities to Central Asian students, its student body and faculty comes from all over Asia and other parts of the world. In March 2010, AUCA has established an official partnership with [[Bard College]] located in the state of New York, United States. The partnership allows students of American Studies, Anthropology, Economics, European Studies, International and Comparative Politics, Journalism and Mass Communications, Psychology, Sociology and Software Engineering programs to receive liberal arts degrees fully accredited in the US. According to the USAID accreditation report, "AUCA is the first higher education institution in Central Asia that functions according to the American model, with a credit-hour system, an American-style liberal arts curriculum, and a commitment to democratic values, freedom of expression and inquiry, and academic integrity and honesty." The university is chartered in Kyrgyzstan and is authorized by the [[Kyrgyz Ministry of Education]] to offer the [[Kyrgyz National Diploma]] in eleven undergraduate programs and one graduate program (an [[MBA]]). AUCA also offers American-style diplomas, and students are required to take courses in both [[Russian Language|Russian]] and [[English Language|English]]. Currently [[AUCA]] and [[Bard College]] are entering into a collaboration to develop a joint-degree program, in which students at [[AUCA]] will receive both Kyrgyz diplomas and US accredited diplomas from [[Bard College]]. ==History== In 1991, as independence swept across Central Asian countries, the region advanced deliberately into a fast-changing world of free markets and [[democracy]]. This wave of change spurred new ideas in the educational system resulting in the establishment of the Kyrgyz-American School (KAS) within the Kyrgyz State National University (KSNU) in [[Bishkek]] in 1993. KAS experienced such dramatic growth over the next four years that it could no longer remain a school within KSNU and was poised to become an independent institution. In 1997, by a decree of the [[President]] of [[Kyrgyzstan]], KAS became the '''American University in Kyrgyzstan''' (AUK), and an independent international [[Board of Trustees]] was established as the governing body. AUK was soon proposed internationally as a university based on the American liberal arts tradition of free and critical inquiry. Young scholars from 30 countries soon arrived for this new approach to education in [[Central Asia]]. In 2002, due to the University’s expanded mission and future vision, the Board of Trustees changed the name to reflect the University’s regional significance: the American University of Central Asia. ==Campus== The main building of American University of Central Asia was initially constructed in 1930s and was used by the Central Committee of the [[Communist Party of the Kirghiz SSR]], and by the Supreme Council of the republic. Portraits of [[Vladimir Lenin]], [[Karl Marx]] and [[Friedrich Engels]] are still hanging in the conference hall of AUCA, while the coat of arms of [[Kirghiz SSR]] is kept on the facade of the building. In 2008 [[Ishak Masaliev]], then Kyrgyz parliament member from the [[Party of Communists of Kyrgyzstan]], called to change the location of AUCA, because of the "historic value" of the current main building. ===Preparatory programs=== The university offers full-time and part-time programs to prepare students for university study. The programs include an intensive course of English language learning and university-level academic classes. ===Undergraduate programs=== The university offers American-style [[Bachelor of Arts]] degrees in 11 major programs: * [[American Studies]] * [[Anthropology]] * [[Business Administration]] * [[Economics]] * [[European Studies]] * [[International and Comparative Politics]] * [[International and Business Law]] * [[Journalism and Mass Communications]] * [[Psychology]] * [[Sociology]] * [[Software Engineering]] ===Graduate programs=== In addition to its undergraduate programs, AUCA also offers a [[Master of Business Administration]] ([[MBA]]) degree. ==Presidents== * [[John Clark]] * [[David Huwiler]] * [[John Dreier]] * [[Ellen Hurwitz]] * [[Andrew Wachtel]] ==Provosts== * [[Kamilla Sharshekeeva]] * [[Gulnara Aitbaeva]] * [[Bakyt Beshimov]] * [[Bermet Tursunkulova]] ==External links== * [http://www.auca.kg AUCA official website] * [http://alumni.auca.kg/en/ Official Alumni website] * [http://www.centralasiatravel.com Central Asia Travel Business started by Alumni] {{coord missing|Kyrgyzstan}} {{DEFAULTSORT:American University Of Central Asia}}