KU Law has built a strong tradition over the years, with a program that serves as a model for schools around the globe – including the International University of Central Asia.
Over the week of Nov. 4, three representatives from IUCA, based in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan, visited KU Law to meet with faculty and administrators as they strengthen their own law program. Dean Zhyldyz Tegizbekova, along with Bakhtiiar Igamberdiev, professor of economics, and Aidar Jumagalov, professor of law, spent their time touring the school, meeting key faculty and administrative members, and observing classes. KU Law Professor Virginia Harper Ho coordinated the trip, which also introduced the visitors to the school’s programs for international students.
“KU Law faculty and administrators have offered to continue to serve as resources for the IUCA Law Program as it continues to build its program, including its legal aid clinic,” she said.
On Wednesday, the three met with Dean Stephen Mazza to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The document establishes a cooperation between the IUCA’s new law program and KU Law, intended to facilitate future student and research exchanges. It also lays a foundation for deeper collaboration in the future. Currently KU Law has similar agreements with law schools and departments in Australia, Ireland, Korea, Mexico and Turkey.
Thanks to the new MOU, KU Law students who have interest in Russian or Kyrgyz language training may now have the opportunity to pursue it through coursework at IUCA, or even internships facilitated by IUCA’s law program. Language training is especially relevant for students in the joint J.D./M.A. in Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies program, which is KU Law’s most recent addition to its joint degree programs. Other potential scholarly opportunities include short-term study abroad, faculty teaching exchanges, joint conferences, and opportunities for visiting scholars to be hosted by KU Law or by IUCA. Tokmok is located 35 miles from the capital city, Bishkek, and is on the border with Kazakhstan.
The first class of undergraduate law students started this year at IUCA, and in several years they will be welcome to apply to KU Law’s various degree programs. KU Law also plans to work with IUCA to develop a joint LL.M. program – the first of its kind between law schools in the U.S. and Central Asia.