What Makes Us Unique | Aga Khan Academies

What Makes Us Unique

The Aga Khan Academies are an integrated network of about 18 residential schools in 14 countries in Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East. They are dedicated to expanding access to the highest standard of education for exceptional young men and women, regardless of their ability to pay.

The Academies are more than just residential schools that strive to give their students a sound academic foundation. Each school emphasises the importance of academic excellence while instilling in students a sense of civic responsibility, leadership skills, and the desire, ability, and commitment to give back to their communities locally and globally.

The Academies are grounded in an educational approach that measures success not just by academic achievement, but by how students apply what they know to make the world a better place.

Students receive a grounding in ethics and also develop openness towards difference and acceptance of pluralism by living in diverse communities. As the network of Academies develops, both students and teachers will participate in visits and exchanges to Academies in other countries and regions.

Aims of the Academies programme

Our programme aims to:

  • build inquiring, tolerant and creative minds
  • empower gifted individuals, including girls, to innovate and lead
  • over time, educate a cohort of well-trained local leaders with a sound ethical outlook and great intellectual capacity
  • establish a global learning community across diverse geographic, social, economic, religious and tribal boundaries by providing merit-based admissions
  • develop highly trained and effective educators
  • positively influence education broadly across the targeted regions of the world, with measurable impact.

“The Aga Khan Academies aim to create ethical leaders with a strong sense of civic responsibility who will go on to the best universities in the world, pursue careers of their choice and…become leaders in the governments and the institutions of civil society in their own countries, in international organisations and in all those institutions, academic, economic and artistic that create positive change in our world.”

His Highness the Aga Khan (Mombasa, December 2003)

Embedded in our programme, the Aga Khan Curricular Strands (AK Strands) aim to strengthen understandings and outlooks needed by leaders of the future. 

They encompass five critical areas of study:

  • Ethics
  • Pluralism
  • Cultures (with an emphasis on Muslim civilisations) 
  • Governance and Civil Society
  • Economics for Development.

The AK Strands examine issues of global importance and are also tailored to the cultural context of each Academy. This allows students to engage with international issues and challenges while remaining strongly grounded in their local context.