The University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Khorog campus celebrated the graduation at its School of Arts and Sciences at an elegant ceremony in Khorog on June 15.

Press release issued by the UCA Khorog Campus says over 200 guests gathered to congratulate the 27 bright men and women who graduated majoring in Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Global Economics.  Guests included parents and friends of the graduates, local community members, members of UCA’s Board of Trustees, and university staff and faculty.  A simultaneous graduation ceremony was held at UCA’s campus in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan where 26 students graduated majoring in Computer Science and Media and Communications.

The chief guest at the Khorog event was Mr. Dilshod Safarzoda, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Tajikistan.  He expressed pride in the Government of Tajikistan being one of the founders of UCA and in President Emomali Rahmon being UCA’ patron.  He shared his happiness at the strong, ongoing, multifaceted collaboration between Tajikistan’s Ministry of Education and Science and UCA that has improved access to quality learning across Tajikistan.  The Deputy Minister expressed confidence that UCA will continue its close cooperation with the Ministry.  He also highlighted President Rahmon’s remarks during the inauguration of UCA’s Khorog campus in 2018 “The University of Central Asia in Khorog… will not only benefit our country but will serve to expand the multilateral cooperation of the countries of the region in the field of education".

Princess Zahra Aga Khan, UCA Trustee, delivering a virtual address, congratulated the graduates and also conveyed the wishes of UCA’s Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan.  Princess Zahra thanked UCA’s faculty, staff, parents as well as donors, volunteers and partners across the globe.  She also thanked UCA’s Founding States (Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan) for having created the “enabling environment in which the University continues to thrive.”  Princess Zahra encouraged graduates to “play a central role in fostering a vibrant and more inclusive global knowledge society” and asked the graduates to retain a “life-long commitment to learning.”  She also encouraged graduates to consider UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education, which has trained some 250,000 learners in Central Asia, as they continue their educational journeys.

Mr. Ali Velshi, Chief Correspondent of MSNBC and former anchor and correspondent for Al Jazeera and CNN, delivered the keynote address.  He called the UCA students “bright, curious, and hardworking” and exhorted the graduates to make it their mission to dedicate themselves in the “service of others…Choose to make things better for those around you, and you will make things better for the world. Start with small acts. With each small success, you will get stronger and better able to solve bigger problems.” 

Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chairman UCA’s Board of Trustees highlighted that “UCA’s mission is to cultivate inspired and ethical leadership to drive positive change” and went to share three essentials of leadership: “an ethical framework, empowering others, and self-reflection, and adaptability.”

Dr. Christopher Gerry, Acting Rector of UCA, also made remarks.

Speakers at the graduation also emphasized UCA’s and the Aga Khan Development Network’s current and future initiatives as part of a long-term vision to transform Khorog into a modern university town capable of thriving in the knowledge society age.

The event highlighted UCA’s contribution to human capital development in Tajikistan and broader Central Asia.  Many UCA graduates have been admitted, several on full scholarships, to internationally recognized universities including Brown, Duke, Michigan, University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University, University of Cambridge, and National University of Singapore.  Graduates who have chosen employment have secured decent jobs and are using their knowledge in fields such as economy, environment, technology, and society to contribute to the economic prosperity and sustainability of Tajikistan.

UCA's commitment to rigorous quality standards is exemplified through its academic partnerships with leading international universities, including the University of Cambridge, the University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and the University of Technology Sydney.

UCA admits students based on both academic excellence and their potential to be the future leaders without regard to their financial background by providing substantial scholarships.