The University of Central Asia’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (UCA SPCE) hosted its fourth graduation ceremony on 24 June 2016 in Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic.
Kasen Azizov, First Vice-Governor of Naryn Oblast; Almaz Shaltaev, Deputy Mayor of Naryn Town; and Damira Omuralieva, Naryn State University Rector presided at the ceremony.
Twelve learners graduated from SPCE’s Academic Achievement Programme (AAP), which helps prepare Grade 7-11 students for admission to universities in the Kyrgyz Republic and abroad through the in-depth study of Conversational and Academic English, Mathematics and Information Technology (IT).
Forty graduates also received certificates for completing the Preparation for National Test course, with SPCE graduates scoring 30 points higher than the national average. Twenty-four also passed the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) examination.
After completing the preparatory course, Kyzsaikal Asymkulova secured scholarships to study at several public universities. Her proud grandfather, Asymkul Mambetjumaev travelled three hours from Kara Bulun in At-Bashy to attend the ceremony. He praised the University for making education accessible to rural communities.
“I am so honoured to be here with my grandfather. My classmates and I studied Mathematics and Kyrgyz language and this helped me achieve a high score in the national examinations,” said Asymkulova.
Established in 2006 as UCA’s first operational school, SPCE Naryn has enrolled over 19,000 learners in more than 20 programmes offered in seven areas of study. SPCE’s course offerings include programmes specifically designed to improve student readiness for university level study and train entrepreneurs to start or grow their business. Through a partnership between UCA and the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB), graduates can apply for a loan to launch their businesses at an accessible interest rate.
Entrepreneur Shayirbubu Aljanbaeva, who completed the short-term programme Development of Business Plan, received a loan from KICB to establish a business producing and selling children’s clothing.
“For five years, I could not establish my business. SPCE’s programme Developing a Business Plan trained me in marketing, IT, financial literacy and business planning. Now I sell what I produce at the market and supermarkets. A nine per cent interest loan is very low for the region and I am grateful to UCA for its support and dedication to local entrepreneurs,” Aljanbaeva explained.
Graduates also included 27 Naryn-based entrepreneurs, including a cohort from Tosh-Bulak village opposite the UCA Naryn campus, who completed the Developing a Business Plan course, a short-term SPCE programme providing training in Entrepreneurship and generating business ideas, Marketing, Business Communication, and Business Plan Development. The ceremony highlighted the efforts of Naryn’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, including former graduates. Five entrepreneurs, eager to further develop their skills signed up for programme Small Business Management using Mini-Technology after the ceremony.
Since 2006, SPCE has enrolled more than 89,000 learners at 12 town campuses and learning centres across Central Asia and Afghanistan. All SPCE certificate programmes are internationally benchmarked and academic quality and integrity is assured through a system of external examiners.
“As the first operational school, SPCE embodies the University of Central Asia’s mission to unlock the economic and intellectual potential of the region. As we welcome an economically and regionally diverse inaugural class of undergraduates to UCA’s campus in September, we look forward to building on this progress to benefit the community, small business owners and learners of all levels,” said Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General and Dean of Graduate Studies.
UCA is building three residential university campuses of equal size and stature in Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic; Khorog, Tajikistan; and Tekeli, Kazakhstan. In September 2016, UCA will welcome its first undergraduate class to the Naryn campus, which offers degree programmes in Communications and Media and Computer Science. The campus in Khorog, Tajikistan opening in 2017 will offer Economics and Earth and Environmental Sciences. The third campus in Tekeli, Kazakhstan is anticipated in 2019 and will offer Engineering Sciences and Business and Management.