American University of Central Asia and Mina Corp Announce New Pre-University Academy

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, June 9, 2011 The American University of Central Asia (AUCA) today signed an agreement with Mina Corp to create “The New Generation Academy” at AUCA.

The Academy will offer an innovative one-year “bridging” program to talented high school graduates from across the Kyrgyz Republic who do not have the means to afford high quality private education. The Academy will begin teaching in September 2012.

Mina Corp’s initial funding of $2.5m will cover tuition and accommodation expenses for 70 students per year over a four-year period. It will also pay for 15 full scholarships, including room and board, for the Academy’s most able graduates in both 2013 and 2014 respectively, to study for a four-year degree at AUCA. The Academy is expected to admit seven to eight students from each region of the country and a similar number additionally from Osh and Bishkek.

Students will be selected by an independent commission on the basis of merit and financial need. They will complete a one year rigorous course of study in English, Kyrgyz, Russian, Maths, History and Science oriented toward developing critical thinking. Building on AUCA’s experience of running its existing Preparatory Program, the Academy will provide students with a foundation to access quality university education.

The establishment of the Academy marks an important step forward in developing the capabilities of a new generation of gifted and deserving high school students throughout the Kyrgyz Republic. It will also contribute to the integration in the country by bringing together students of a formative age from all its regions.

Commenting on the signing of the agreement with Mina Corp, the President of AUCA, Andrew Wachtel said: “The high-school system in Kyrgyzstan, especially outside of Bishkek, suffers from serious resource challenges and has a hard time producing students with the level of preparation needed to enter a top university like AUCA. We’re extremely happy that Mina Corp has chosen to focus on this area and has agreed to provide the funding to allow any talented child in Kyrgyzstan to have the possibility of receiving the best university education available. AUCA’s fair and transparent selection system will ensure that talented and deserving students enter the Academy.”

Mina Corp’s CEO, Denis Grigoriev said: “We’re delighted to be starting this partnership with AUCA. We see the need to develop in Kyrgyzstan a new generation of leaders who have benefited from the life-transforming experience of quality teaching at university. We’re sure that this project can make a real and lasting contribution to Kyrgyzstan’s development. AUCA is one of the country’s top universities with a well established track record of delivering world-class education.”


  1. Chason

    This is exciting news, especially considering the program’s commitment to providing equal access to education throughout the country. I can imagine the effects of the digital divide will raise the learning curve for students who aren’t coming from Bishkek or Osh. So, a program like this would have to be much more holistic than other preparatory programs just because of the population it serves. I wonder if the program will also incorporate an element of professional and academic mentoring to support its students. In the States, at least, too many of these types of programs fail because staff and students aren’t given enough training and resources to see its missional mandate through.

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June 10th, 2011

Staff Reporter

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