On October 25, 2010, Carleton University and the University of Central Asia (UCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen public policy training. The event, hosted by Aga Khan Foundation Canada at the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa, was followed by a discussion and reception to mark the launch of this important new partnership.
Earlier this year, Carleton approved funding for two doctoral students to study towards a PhD in Public Policy. Upon graduation, the students will be offered teaching positions at the University of Central Asia. The generosity of Carleton’s program will contribute to longer-term capacity building in the region, and a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship between the two universities.
In the true spirit of partnership, Carleton University President, Dr. Roseann Runte reflected that, “one might say that Carleton has been very generous in making it possible for students to come over and study and provide some scholarships, but I think we will be the ones who will be enriched by their presence, because whenever you give you receive, and whenever you share your knowledge, you learn more.”
Dr. Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General of UCA, echoed President Runte’s sentiments, and spoke to the bold vision for the University of Central Asia. “We have a unique opportunity because we are doing this in the 21st century,” he said. “We can do cutting edge pedagogy, we can do cutting edge programs. So the idea is not to just be a good international university, but to really be the kind of university we would want to be anywhere, with the privilege of having a blank slate.”
Following remarks from Dr. Runte and Dr. Krawchenko, a panel discussion focused on sustainable human development in Central Asia, building on institutional capacities. Dr. Leslie Pal, Carleton University’s Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy and Administration reflected that “you need to provide a platform for at least exposing universities as well as other players about better techniques for doing policy, and doing evidence-based research.” The emphasis on best practices, learning, and research was echoed by Dr. Nasreen Dhanani, Deputy Director and Director of Research, University of Central Asia: “to make the curriculum more relevant, you have to be exposed to the research. So, why not start generating knowledge immediately?”
To launch its academic programmes, UCA is investing in a cadre of Central Asian academics who can deliver UCA’s teaching programmes and conduct requisite research. The University has set a target of having 80% of its faculty comprising Central Asian nationals with top international academic credentials from partner universities in the United Kingdom, Asia and North America.
The launch of the new programme with Carleton University was carried in local media, including a feature story in the The Ottawa Citizen on October 29th, Carleton University’s The Charlaton, as well as several online news bulletins, such as Academica Today.
The University of Central Asia