New opportunities in the framework of the Open Society University Network (OSUN) membership

June 28, 2021

The pandemic and the forced transition to online education at AUCA coincided with a new stage in the history of the development of international partnerships of our university. At the beginning of 2020, AUCA became one of the members of the new global Open Society University Network (OSUN), which consists of 24 partner universities in 17 countries, as well as 15 research and educational institutions in 7 countries. The founders of OSUN are Bard College in the USA and the Central European University in Austria.
The opportunities that open up within the framework of the OSUN partner network are a unique chance for international global communication, the dissemination of knowledge, skills, and the exchange of experience, regardless of geographical borders.
During the pandemic, when the borders were closed, together with our partners, we started practicing OSUN international network courses to enable our students to study online with students from around the world in real time. Starting from the summer of 2020, our students, along with AUCA courses, can register for courses offered by professors of Bard College (USA), Central European University (Austria), Princeton University (USA), BRAK University (Bangladesh), Bard College Berlin (Germany) and other universities within the OSUN partner network. AUCA teachers also provide some places in their courses for students of OSUN partner universities, which makes the learning environment more international. It should be emphasized that these international online courses of OSUN are conducted in the best traditions of liberal education: these are small groups of students where they communicate directly with professors, ask them questions, present, discuss, do research and projects together with students from different countries.
In addition, we are working on certification programs for our students. For example, in such areas as working with civil society, the development of global education, economic policy analysis, etc.
Thus, after 4 years of training, our graduates will receive a diploma of the Kyrgyz state sample, an American diploma of the Bard College of the USA, as well as, if desired, an international certificate, mutually recognized within the OSUN network, in the field of their chosen additional qualification.
In addition to the academic resources of OSUN, students are offered extracurricular activities depending on their interests, as well as the needs of society. Students can apply for participation in the competition to receive an OSUN mini-grant in order to implement a project for the benefit of a certain community. The university has a Center for Civic Engagement, as well as a "Program for the development of student initiatives", which will provide the necessary support to students in this process. For example, AUCA students organized such projects as: "Advanced training of teachers of regional schools in digital literacy", "Summer camp of future leaders", "Information message to eliminate doubts about the seismic danger of the Issyk-Ata rift", "Not an object, but a person" and others.
We hope that the university will be able to return to traditional education as soon as possible. But we will also use the experience gained during the pandemic in international online courses, combine and offer unique opportunities for our students. After the pandemic, of course, our students will have opportunities for a traditional annual, semester trip abroad, as part of an academic exchange of students, which will be significantly expanded due to the partnership at OSUN.

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American University of Central Asia
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