Application to the University of Central: An International Benchmark with the Central Asian Student in Mind

This article is part of the series “Choosing a University,” exploring the questions and opportunities students encounter when applying to university. This series is produced by the University of Central Asia, now accepting applications for its inaugural cohort of students in September 2016. The application deadline has been extended to 15 April 2016.
For high school students around the world, applying to university can be a busy, high-pressure time. In Central Asia, most admissions are focused on a one-time examination. In the Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan, students write national level exams. In Tajikistan, students write entrance exams to attend specific universities.  In all three countries, university admission is based solely on a student’s test performance.
The University of Central Asia is taking a different approach. UCA offers an international standard of education, and in turn requires a more rigorous application process. The applications that prospective UCA students will complete are on par with those required by other first rate universities worldwide. 
The UCA application considers the whole student. Students share detailed information about their extracurricular activities, including community service and leadership experiences, to showcase their unique background and accomplishments. UCA is committed to attracting qualified applicants from both urban and rural centres throughout the region, regardless of their socioeconomic status. 
UCA’s specialised admissions exam uses an international standard of assessment designed specifically with the Central Asian student in mind. Sections on English, Math and Logical Reasoning measure university preparedness against international standards, while considering the current academic level of Central Asian high school students. 
Above all, the UCA admissions process is rooted in integrity and merit. The University has a zero tolerance policy towards bias and discrimination.  Members of the admissions committee represent both genders, are from all three founding countries, and include academics, professionals, artists and entrepreneurs. 
“The Admissions process at UCA is fair and transparent.  The decision to admit a student does not lie in any one individual’s hand – admission is granted based on a committee’s decision. Each student who writes UCA’s admission exam will know his or her results relative to other exam takers, and there are no special admits,” said Dr. Ariff Kachra, Dean of Arts and Sciences. “UCA is committed to offering its students an internationally recognized calibre of education; the first step is to offer students a world class admission process.”
Key application dates
  • 15 April 2016: Application form, required supporting documents and non-refundable application fee submitted
  • 22 April 2016: Applicants notified of application number, testing time, and location of UCA Admissions Test.
  • 1 May 2016: Admissions testing day in Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan.
  • 27 May 2016: Shortlisted candidates to submit supporting documents.
  • July 2016: Naryn campus tours for prospective students.
Key dates for accepted applicants
  • June 2016: Accepted applicants informed and financial aid decisions provided.
  • July 2016: Students must confirm their place at UCA.
  • 29 August 2016: Student orientation begins.
  • 5 September 2016: Academic year 2016-2017 commences.
For more information on how to apply to UCA, visit: visit:, email us at, or call: +996 770 822 901 (Kyrgyz Republic) +992 93 999 99 64 (Tajikistan)  +7 777 822 3948 (Kazakhstan)
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