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Australian, C.Asian varsities to strengthen ties in communication, media studies

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The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), and the University of Central Asia (UCA), Kyrgyzstan have joined hands to strengthen relations in the fields of curriculum development exchange of faculty and students strengthen the relationship between the two institutes.

The representatives of the two institutes Tuesday (Sept 12) signed an agreement of cooperation in the field of communications and media in Australia, says a statement posted on the UCA Facebook pages.

“We look forward to great things happening with this partnership,” Professor Andrew Parfitt, Provost and Senior Vice-President at UTS said.

“Although we have a strong international programme, with the largest number of students going overseas of any Australian university, this is the first time UTS will be involved with countries of the former Soviet Union.”

Among the areas of collaboration between the two institutions are curriculum development, exchange of faculty and students, sharing of teaching resources and strategies, joint conferences, seminars, and exhibitions, the statement further said.

“We explored many universities before deciding to partner with UTS,” says Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, who represented the UCA at the signing ceremony.

“The strength and reputation of their programme in communications and media were most impressive, and we are particularly comfortable with their innovative and hands-on approach to teaching”, he added.

“Now that UTS will have a footprint in Central Asia, we hope that in time other partnerships with the programmes of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) can be developed”, says Dr Lakha, who is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of UCA.

“As we tackle the perennial issues of content, independence, and professionalism in the area of communications and media, we welcome the collaboration and support of UTS. The shared experience will enrich both our institutions,” said Dr Diana Pauna, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, UCA.

UCA’s five-year degree programme consists of an intensive preparatory programme, followed by a four-year liberal arts core curriculum, rooted in the issues of mountain communities in Central Asia. Students are currently pursuing specialisations in computer science or communications and media at the Naryn campus in Kyrgyzstan, and economics or earth and environmental science at the Khorog campus in Tajikistan.

The UCA was founded in 2000. The presidents of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and His Highness the Aga Khan signed the International Treaty and Charter establishing this secular, private, not for profit university, which was ratified by the respective parliaments and registered with the United Nations.

The three presidents are the patrons of UCA and His Highness the Aga Khan is the Chancellor. UCA’s mission is to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia, particularly its mountain societies, by offering an internationally recognised standard of higher education and helping the peoples of the region to preserve and draw upon their rich cultural traditions as assets for the future.

UCA brings with it the commitment and partnership of the Aga Khan Development Network.


On 26 January 1988, the former New South Wales Institute of Technology became the University of Technology, which has become a dynamic and innovative university in central Sydney. On 1 January 1990, the Institute of Technical and Adult Teacher Education and the Kuring-gai College of Advanced Education were amalgamated with the existing University of Technology, Sydney to form the current UTS. On 1 August 2015, the comma was removed from the University’s title to become the current University of Technology Sydney

One of Australia’s leading universities of technology, UTS has a distinct model of learning, strong research performance and a leading reputation for engagement with industry and the professions. It has a culturally diverse campus life and vibrant international exchange study and research programmes that prepare graduates for the workplaces of today and the future.

The UTS is part of the Australian Technology Network of universities: a group of five prominent universities committed to working with industry and government to deliver practical and professional courses.

With a total enrolment of over 40,000 students, UTS is one of the largest universities in Australia.

UTS offers over 130 undergraduate and 210 postgraduate courses across traditional and emerging disciplines such as architecture, built environment, business, communication, design, education, engineering, information technology, international studies, law, midwifery, nursing, pharmacy and science.

In line with the UTS model of global practice-oriented learning, many of the students undertake professional practice during their degree. As part of their degree programme, the bstudents also have the opportunity to study at one of more than 185 universities in about 40 countries with which UTS has exchange agreements.

The research centres of the university span a range of disciplines, including physical, biological and engineering sciences, and contemporary fields such as design, nanotechnology and sustainability.

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