Since 2011 NGA due to the advent of a MINA Corp. scholarship for 70 talented and financially challenged 11th grade high school students from remote areas of Kyrgyzstan has since been very much supported by AUCA and has proven its paramount importance in attracting, developing, and educating the finest of the new generation representatives.
The NGA has been a crucial stepping stone for the success of 583 university students from the regions over the past 5 years. NGA is designed to prepare students from Kyrgyzstan and the wider Central Asian region for studies at the university level. Our intensive program of Academic English, Test Preparation, Russian Language and Mathematics courses, supplemented by guest speaker presentations as well as life, research and study skills seminars, aims to bridge the gaps that often remain after students in Central Asia graduate from high school.
Past experience shows how these rural and disadvantaged students are often the most dedicated; the most active in their community: organizing food and clothing drives, orphanage and eldercare facility visits, and environmental protection initiatives; and the most driven to succeed in their future endeavors – determined to help improve not only their lot in life, but the overall economy of their village, region or country. It is these students who we see remaining in the region following graduation, working hardest to give back to and further develop their societies. It is these students who often open the eyes of their more privileged counterparts to the work that still needs to be done. Given the reality of their current economic situations, however, many of these students do not have the financial resources to even begin to pursue their dreams on their own, with more than 70% entirely reliant, and another 30% partially reliant, on donor funding to help them with that first step toward achieving their goals.
The active engagement of NGA students and alumni is evident in their selection for prestigious scholarships and participation in a wide range of programs. NGA is proud to say that a number of its alumni and current students have had the opportunity to be ambassadors for the AUCA community abroad, having been selected to participate in various international exchange programs, conferences, and projects. Taking part in programs such as the Rome, Almaty and Everest Model United Nations Conferences, Bard Get Engaged Conferences, and Semester Abroad Exchanges, our bright students and alumni have been actively engaged in representing and promoting AUCA and Central Asia to the world.
While cities are often home to better educational institutions, many of our best students are those who come to us from the villages. NGA scholarship students equally represent all seven regions of Kyrgyzstan. Due to subsequent AUCA enrollment patterns and increased access to scholarship funding and financial aid for NGA alumni in previous years, the NGA program has also been the leading reason for increased representation of students from all 7 regions of Kyrgyzstan at AUCA.