We have been asked to support the launch of a new private university in Uzbekistan, and help identify a UK university partner. The UK partner will be able to work with them on the establishment of the university, initially franchising a number of Business (Entrepreneurship) and IT/Technology courses, supporting their Staff development, and supporting them develop as a fully fledged Uzbek University over the next decade. The partnership will also act as a feeder of postgraduate students to the UK
The university is being established by a group of leading business people in Uzbekistan whose founders started their businesses in 2008 and have been instrumental in looking to create an enterprise ecosystem in Uzbekistan. They have built a group of 12 successful companies that cover equipment supply, leasing, business tourism, chain of co-working spaces, consultancy and training. One of the founders has also held senior political office in the Tashkent Municipality and have very strong business and political connections. One of the principals also studied at St Andrews. This project is seen by the principals as a project for the social good rather than a simple commercial opportunity.
The team identified the need to create a market leading business and IT university that would focus on entrepreneurship and technologies for the digital economy. They are coming to the end of the local approval process and have the support of the Prime Ministers and Presidents Office.
Uzbekistan currently has a shortage of university places at Undergraduate level and the government is keen to encourage the private sector to develop quality institutions, there are already a number of UK universities who are present, the most successful being Westminster University that has a campus in Tashkent, which has over 3000 students, and is recognised locally as the leading University. There is also a growing middle class with disposable income. There is also significant under provision of Higher Education places, last year there were 1 million applicants for 100,000 places.
There is already an initial campus in place (which they own) near the centre of Tashkent in an area that is rapidly developing. This campus will be able to hold 1,200 students and there is a plan to start to develop a new campus to be ready in around 4-5 years that will accommodate around 4,000 students.
The team behind this project have run a large number of focus groups with students and parents over the past year as part of their business planning process, and are comfortable that they will be able to recruit their target number of students, and the initial fee level will be between $4,000 and $6,000 a year. Their target for the first year of recruitment is 250-300 students.
They initially want to focus on UG programmes, and will introduce Masters and MBA programmes in due course. To allow them to start quickly they are looking to franchise programmes in the first instance. The intention is to jointly brand the programmes and facilities to maximise the exposure of the UK brand in market they will also look to market their UK partners Masters and MBA’s to students in Uzbekistan (the students would come to the UK)
They have already identified a Rector (who will be international and have relevant experience) and an Academic Provost, who has held a similar position at the Westminster campus.
If you are interested in finding out more we will send some further information and have an initial call to clarify any questions you may have, we will then look to arrange an initial call with the team behind the project, and then if both sides are keen to progress the plan would be for the principals to come to the UK to meet with the university face to face, and also for you to go to Tashkent to visit the campus site and meet other key players, including officials in the government and at the local accreditation agency.