American University of Central Asia - AUCA - OSUN’s Ambition, Themes & Partners

OSUN’s Ambition, Themes & Partners


OSUN's ambition is to support its partners around the world to form collaborations that:

  • Expand access to higher education at a time of growing inequities, with a specific focus on systematically disadvantaged and minority populations
  • Educate students to address tomorrow's global challenges by getting to know other societies from the inside
  • Foster critical thinking, open intellectual inquiry, and fact-based research to strengthen foundations of open society amid an authoritarian resurgence
  • Counteract intellectual monocultures and polarization by promoting global research collaboration and educating students to examine issues from different perspectives and advance reasoned arguments
  • Bolster efforts by universities in challenging environments to build their own capacity to make greater contributions to their societies


OSUN Themes 

  • Democratic Practice

Open Society and Democracy explores the principles, progress, and challenges of open society and democracy at a time of authoritarian resurgence. OSUN's programs examine what makes an open society, how open society is weakened in today's world, and how to advance open society in the face of contemporary challenges.


  • Sustainability

Sustainability is a defining challenge of our age, as the ambitions of human enterprise continue on a collision course with planetary life support systems. OSUN provides a distinctive combination of: interdisciplinary study across environmental, social, economic, and governance dimensions; rigorous scientific inquiry; emphasis on sustainability as a decision and leadership challenge; explicit solutions orientation; and truly global perspectives.


  • Inequality

Inequalities of multiple types characterize the contemporary world. OSUN's programs explore the causes and consequences of inequalities within and between societies, including national and global disparities in income and wealth, social and political dimensions of inequality, and various forms of inequality related to gender, race, ethnicity, and forced displacement.


  • Human Rights

Human rights are under assault around the world. OSUN deepens the interdisciplinary theoretical knowledge and strengthens the skills for empirical analysis to defend and advance human rights. It interweaves the study of human rights law, politics, and advocacy with a focus on the power of aesthetic, performative, and curatorial forms in human rights struggles.


  • Arts and Open Society

Arts and Society promotes the expression of contemporary life, including dissent, difference, and the full power of the human imagination. OSUN programs promote cross-cultural study and presentation of work in fields ranging from poetry to film, photography, and dance and connect the arts to politics and society, including freedom of expression and struggles against oppressive regimes. Please visit the OSUN website for details of its programs, projects, and partnership opportunities.

OSUN Partners

OSUN is co-founded by the Central European University and Bard College and is developing its programs jointly with the institutional partners and the Open Society Foundations, OSUN's main philanthropic partner.



  • Al-Quds University/Al-Quds Bard College of Arts and Sciences (Palestine)
  • American University of Beirut (Lebanon)
  • American University in Bulgaria
  • American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan)
  • Arizona State University (United States)
  • Ashesi University (Ghana)
  • Bard College at Simon's Rock: The Early College (United States)
  • Bard College Berlin (Germany)
  • Bard Early Colleges (United States)
  • Birkbeck, University of London (United Kingdom)
  • Bocconi University (Italy)
  • BRAC University (Bangladesh)
  • European Humanities University (Lithuania)
  • European University Institute (Italy)
  • Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva)
  • Hertie School (Germany)
  • London School of Economics (United Kingdom)
  • National Sun Yat-sen University (Taiwan)
  • National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (Romania)
  • Sciences Po in Paris (France)
  • SOAS University of London (United Kingdom)
  • Tuskegee University (United States)
  • Universidad de los Andes (Colombia)
  • University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)



  • Bard Prison Initiative (United States)
  • Black Mountains College (United States)
  • Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs (United States)
  • Chatham House (United Kingdom)
  • Haitian Education and Leadership Program (Haiti)
  • Institute for New Economic Thinking (United States and United Kingdom)
  • Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade (Serbia)
  • Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (Austria)
  • Parami Institute (Myanmar)
  • Picker Center for Executive Education, Columbia University (United States)
  • Princeton Global History Lab (United States)
  • Rift Valley Institute (Kenya)
  • The Talloires Network (United States)
  • University of California, Berkeley Human Rights Center (United States)
  • University of Connecticut Human Rights Institute (United States)


*OSUN is actively in discussions with other potential partners that share its principles and academic ambition.

Expected Impact

Through its programs and collaborations, OSUN partners endeavor to:


  • Build a new model of global higher education
  • Cultivate a new generation of globally engaged citizens
  • Unite researchers worldwide to address global challenges
  • Expand the creation of knowledge for open societies
  • Create new pathways for underserved communities into higher education
  • Scale up opportunities for refugees to enter or resume university education
  • Enhance the professional skills of K-12 teachers and university faculty to design and implement student-centered learning

Please find more information about OSUN on its website


<- Back to the OSUN main page.


American University of Central Asia
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Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

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