The University of Alberta, along with the Aga Khan Development Network, is deeply committed to providing globally engaged higher education and research. Through our partnership, the university will move much closer to fulfilling one of our most important goals—to reach out to the developing world in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia, and engage in meaningful and effective dialogue and exchange.
Indira Samarasekera, President, University of Alberta
(MOU signing ceremony)
On June 9, 2009, the University of Alberta signed an MOU with the Aga Khan University and its affiliates of the Aga Khan Development Network (namely the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the University of Central Asia) to advance their respective goals to increase global engagement and to promote equitable human advancement and social justice throughout the world. The agreement was signed by the University of Alberta’s President, Indira Samarasekera and President Firoz Rasul of the Aga Khan University in the presence of Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach, and His Highness the Aga Khan.
Over the last six years, the Aga Khan University and other Aga Khan Development Network agencies (University of Central Asia, Aga Khan Trust of Culture, Aga Khan Foundation, Aga Khan Education Services, Aga Khan Academies, Aga Khan Health Services and the Local Shia Imami Ismaili Council) have established over 18 projects with the University of Alberta. While the partnership began with a single project between the Aga Khan University and the University of Alberta on developing an Undergraduate Medical Education Programme in East Africa at the Aga Khan University, the partnership portfolio has expanded to include projects that extend to the cardiac sciences, humanities development, community health, math and science education, land rehabilitation, library planning, ethnomusicology, dentistry, biodiversity conservation and sustainable land use programmes with particular emphasis on mountain environments and semi-arid regions. Cross cutting themes within these areas include capacity building, professional development, training initiatives, curriculum development, service programmes and joint research.
The collaboration between the University of Alberta and the Aga Khan Development Network has resulted in strong capacity building, faculty development and professional training initiatives, curriculum development, joint research projects, and internship and clinical elective programmes for University of Alberta students.
The partnership continues to grow in breadth and depth expanding to new areas and through innovative projects recently evidenced by the upcoming conference “I am a Bird from Heaven’s Garden: “Music, Sound and Architecture in the Muslim World,” which will explore music, sound, architecture and gardens through a multitude of formats and events and has forged a new partnership with the Aga Khan Music Initiative (a programme of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture).