Kyrgyzstan has been working to increase economic opportunity since it gained independence in 1991 but it lacked the university facilities to provide students a quality education. The American University of Central Asia was established in 1993 in the capital city of Bishek but in more recent years it was unable to access the commercial lending needed to expand and modernize.
Solution and Impact
Financing enabled the university to build a state-of-the-art campus and expand its curriculum to serve as a center for research throughout Central Asia. The expansion also enabled the university to increase its enrollment capacity by 33 percent and introduce several sustainable design features including geothermal heating and cooling. Further support from USAID created an endowment fund to support grants for equipment and student scholarships for students from Kyrgyzstan and neighboring countries including Afghanistan. The university offers 14 undergraduate and four graduate programs.