Home / American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyz Republic)
American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyz Republic)
American University of Central Asia (AUCA)
Overview of Civic Engagement Activities
Situated on the ancient Silk Road, AUCA treasures Central Asia’s historic role as a facilitator of mutual understanding and innovative thinking. Students and faculty eager to study and pursue their dreams come to us from 25 different countries, including all the Central Asian states, Afghanistan, China, Holland, Germany, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. Their diverse beliefs, languages and perspectives are openly shared and valued. In this vibrant atmosphere, where the freedom to study is considered a privilege, we design new paths forward for social transformation and international understanding.
As our Handbooks state, AUCA welcomes students and faculty without regard for such characteristics as age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, or veteran’s status. Core faculty responsibilities (as delineated in the Faculty Handbook) include helping to develop among students respect for others and their opinions. If students or faculty discriminate on the basis of such characteristics, our Handbooks outline grievance procedures to the victimized party and a process for investigating and sanctioning inappropriate conduct is in place. Moreover, no student group may exclude another member of the university on the basis of the above characteristics.
As shown above, AUCA serves a diverse group of local and international students. However, the majority of our students are Kyrgyz. AUCA’s students come from every Oblast (state) in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is a small, low-income country, with a GDP/capita of under $1,300. Therefore, most Kyrgyz citizens are unable to study at costly, Western institutions. AUCA seeks to fill this gap by offering an American quality university experience.
AUCA supplements its open, competitive, international, and merit-based system of enrollment with significant scholarship assistance for students with clearly demonstrated financial need. Consequently, we are proud to report that in the 2015-2016 academic year, 78% of all undergraduates were the recipients of financial aid. A remarkable 94% of SEBA students received financial assistance.
Scholarships may be need based or merit based. The average need-based scholarship university-wide resulted in a 40% discount to tuition while merit- based recipients received a full tuition waiver. At AUCA SEBA, financial aid covered: 30-40% of tuition for approximately 26% of all SEBA students enrolled; 50-60% of tuition for 25% of students; and 70% for 8% of students. Additionally, more than one out of every three SEBA students received a full scholarship in the 2015-2016 academic term.
Central Asian Education Foundation
SEBA student scholarship statistics are furthered through AUCA’s partnership with the U.S.-Central Asian Education Foundation (US-CAEF). CAEF offers a full, four year scholarship for financially underprivileged Central Asian residents (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) to obtain an undergraduate business education. Each year, 15 students enter SEBA as freshmen recipients of the US-CAEF award.
Afghan Students Scholarship Program
AUCA plays a leading role in the enrollment of students from Afghanistan. Of the 300 international students at AUCA, 107, or 35.6%, come to us from Afghanistan. 33 Afghan students study in SEBA. This primarily is the result of the Afghan Students Scholarship Program, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. The scholarship covers round-trip travel from Afghanistan to AUCA once per academic year, tuition, limited expenses for medications and basic medical care, housing, and a stipend during all four years of undergraduate study in AUCA. It also includes one-year of attendance at the New Generation Academy’s preparatory program, which is discussed below.
Social Entrepreneurship Center
SEBA is prepared to open the Social Entrepreneurship Center. This Center is intended to attract innovators with great ideas or people interested in learning more about social entrepreneurship, and, therefore, this Center is expected to promote the research potential of AUCA Faculty. However, this center is primarily established as a social impact center within SEBA. The mission of this initiative is to respond to accelerating interest in social entrepreneurship activity that aims to transform unjust or unsatisfactory systems and practices in domestic and international settings.
New Generation Academy
Although outside of the scope of AUCA’s activities, it is worth noting the work of the New Generation Academy (NGA). NGA is a comprehensive preparatory program that operates at AUCA. It offers an intensive course of study in preparing secondary students for university education. One of the primary missions of NGA is to provide university access to the underprivileged youth of Kyrgyzstan. Generous scholarships are consequently offered to hardworking, dedicated students from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds across the country. The scholarship covers 100% of recipients’ studies and accommodations. Over 200 scholarship students have graduated from NGA in the last three years, though scholarships are projected to decline to approximately 30 for the 2017-2018 academic year due to a decline in grants.
Over 50% of the 2015-2016 scholarship recipients entered an AUCA undergraduate program in 2016-2017, and in the last three years approximately 10% of NGA scholarship recipients graduates went on to earn full scholarships to study at AUCA as undergraduate students. Other graduates have gone onto university programs abroad, including in Mexico, Germany and China. The entire AUCA community takes pride in the work of NGA.
Many AUCA students and faculty are active, giving members of the communities in which they live and work. SEBA students contribute to the community through students groups and volunteer opportunities, while SEBA faculty serve as panel advisers and work with a multitude of local civic and international organizations committed to societal well-being.
Additionally, AUCA SEBA students take a compulsory business ethics course, a component of which includes corporate social responsibility. A course in Corporate Social Responsibility is offered as an elective to MBA students.
SEBA is a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) compact, and is a participating member of that organization. As stated by PRME, the “initiative is the first organized relationship between the United Nations and business schools.” Over 650 academic institutions from more than 85 countries are signatories to this UN action. All signatories, including AUCA, have committed to fulfilling the core principles of PMRE.
United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR)
SEBA often works in close collaboration with the UNHCR. Previously, for example, AUCA Faculty worked with UNHCR on a refugee support program, in which AUCA Faculty critically reviewed the business plans brought by these individuals. Additionally, SEBA Faculty has often served on panels for UNHCR Conferences and events, wherein advice and expertise is offered.
It is, however, AUCA’s commitment to environmental sustainability in which its CSR activities are most visible. 90% of Kyrgyzstan is covered with mountains. The runoff from these mountains provides water and electricity not only to citizens of Kyrgyzstan, but also Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Climate change now, however, threatens to weaken the Central Asian ecosystem, a development that the political and economic institutions are ill prepared to address. AUCA seeks to lead by example.
Although not formally part of SEBA, AUCA offers a degree from the department of Environmental Management and Sustainable Development. This was prompted by Central Asia’s need for environmental experts and AUCA’s mission to support the region’s transition to a development path that balances social, economic and environmental interests. This degree program perfectly fits the university’s mission of training enlightened and impassioned leaders, who think globally and act this out locally in the specific conditions of Central Asia. In 2015, the school visited Kumtor, a gold mining company that employs nearly 3,000 Kyrgyz citizens. Kumtor helped fund the launch of the degree program.
Additionally, AUCA’s new campus, which opened in fall 2015, is the first private construction project in Central Asia that is “clean green”. As Secretary of State John Kerry put it while attending the inauguration ceremony of the new campus, “[Clean green at AUCA] means geothermal heating and cooling, state-of-the art sewage, irrigation systems, and the highest standard of energy efficiency in the entire region”.