Aga Khan Academies

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The Aga Khan Academies are a network of residential schools in Africa, South and Central Asia and the Middle East. Founded by his highness the aga khan, the academies are part of the Aga Khan Development Network.

Aga Khan Academies in operation:

Academies under development:


The Aga Khan Academies are a network of residential schools for talented students spanning from Africa and the Middle East, to South and Central Asia.[2] The aim of the academies is to develop future leaders with the skills and knowledge to support positive development in their societies. The academies achieve this by recruiting exceptional young people from all backgrounds and providing them with the highest international standard of education.

Admission is means-blind and based on merit. Financial aid is available to ensure access for accepted students regardless of financial circumstances. When complete, the network of academies is planned to form a global learning community of about 18 schools in 14 countries. They hope to eventually serve approximately 14,000 girls and boys of exceptional calibre, graduating 1,500 students annually.

The Aga Khan Academies are an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), which is chaired by his highness the Aga Khan. The AKDN has a long history of involvement in education in countries of the developing world, with the first schools now under the AKDN umbrella having been founded in 1905 in India and Zanzibar. Currently, AKDN agencies operate more than 240 schools and educational programmes ranging from early childhood through to post-graduate education.

Establishment of the academies In 2003, the first of approximately 18 planned Aga Khan Academies opened in Kenya on an 18-acre site in the Kizingo area of Mombasa. The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, has already established a highly successful track record, with its students placing among the top tier worldwide in academic performance.

The Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad, was the second to be established and opened with its first intake of students in August, 2011. As with all the Aga Khan Academies, AKA, Hyderabad, selects students of all socio-economic backgrounds who show promise in academic and other areas, and who demonstrate good character and serious intent.

Future academies The other academies are at different stages in the planning and development process.


The academies' academic programme is organised according to the framework and principles of the globally renowned International Baccalaureate.

The academic curriculum is designed to ensure that students' theoretical learning is linked to relevant local and international issues through the focus on the Aga Khan Academy Curricular Strands. Through this process, students are able to develop their understanding of the world alongside analytical skills, an ability to learn independently and the desire to make a difference.

The academies are in the process of putting in place their dual language programme where English and a national language will both be languages of instruction in the Junior School. The aim is for students throughout the school to be at least bilingual.

Additionally, the programme is designed to equip students with the appropriate technical skills, so they have the opportunity to explore how technology is shaping communities.

Through an active, student-centred approach focused on mastery, the academic programme—along with co-curricular programmes—gives students the skills and ability to pursue a competitive, high-quality, post-secondary education. They are able to become thoughtful, curious, ethical and community-oriented leaders who are prepared to take on the challenges of a complex and interdependent world.

Extracurricular activities include clubs and sports. They are required to contribute to the community as part of their extracurricular activities[2] and as the IB Programme stipulates.[3]

With the expansion of the academy network, it will be possible for teachers and students to go on exchanges with their counterparts in foreign countries.[2] This is due in part to the standardised use of the IB curriculum; all schools teach the same course subject material. Therefore, students will be able to continue their studies abroad without compromising the content of their education.


Each academy will enroll approximately 700 to 1,200 young men and women. The academy seeks students from pre-primary through higher secondary levels representing a diverse range of economic, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Students should have the ability and motivation to excel academically and should demonstrate leadership in community service and other co-curricular pursuits.

Admission is means-blind and competitive, based on student merit.

The academy endeavours to meet the demonstrated financial need of each admitted student.


The academies aim to identify and develop teachers of the highest quality who are committed to both the all-round development of young people and to their own professional excellence. The academy PDCs support excellence by striving to model best practices in teaching and learning within all of its classes and by providing high quality development opportunities for all academy teachers.

Faculty members are also enriched by opportunities to work collaboratively with more experienced colleagues from around the globe and to teach abroad within the Aga Khan Academies network.

The effort to establish a professional development centre (PDC) at each academy is one of the outstanding features of the network. The PDCs aim to strengthen the profession of teaching in the region by providing substantial professional learning opportunities and modelling highly effective educational practice.


“Each campus is to be designed by renowned architects”[4] and is equipped with facilities such as theatres, libraries, laboratories, and cafeterias.

  • The academies feature on-campus sporting facilities, including a swimming pool, a field for outdoor games and a gymnasium for indoor sports. Campuses may also include tennis courts, cricket pitches, and ice-skating rinks.
  • The residential facilities accommodate students and teachers — both visiting and resident.
  • Professional development centres are located on the campus.

The size of the campus will vary from one academy to another. For example, the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, Kenya, inspired by Swahili architecture, rests on a 7.3 hectare parcel of land[4] whereas the academy underway in Hyderabad will have a 40 hectare plot. The Hyderabad Academy campus is being designed by India’s HCP Design and Project and Management Private Limited under the directorship of Bimal Patel.[5]


In addition to belonging to the Aga Khan Development Network and working with the Aga Khan Education Services, the academies are part of the International Academic Partnership (IAP).[6] The IAP is an international joint venture that was conceived in 1990 and came into being in 1993. It includes such institutions as Phillips Academy in Andover, USA, Schule Schloss in Salem, Germany and the Institute for Educational Development at the Aga Khan University. The partnership has brought together over 400 schools from South Asia, East Africa and the United States, and over 500 teachers.[2]

The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Central Asia, the Aga Khan University, the University of Calgary, the University of Toronto, and Oxford University are providing resources to the academies and their development.[2] Other partnerships are national governments such as that of India which donated 40 hectares of land in the southern Andhra Pradesh state for the Hyderabad Academy.[7]


  1. ^ Contreras, M (July 2007), "Aga Khan lanca escola de excelencia", Expreso 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Excellence in Education" (pdf). The Aga Khan Academies. 2003. Archived from the original on 6 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  3. ^ What we offer: Core requirements, 2005–2007, archived from the original on 21 June 2007, retrieved 2007-06-28 
  4. ^ a b "The Aga Khan Academy: Mombasa" (pdf). The Aga Khan Academies. 2003. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  5. ^ HCP Design and Project and Management Private Limited. "Company Profile". Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  6. ^ "IAP Director's Report" (pdf). Phillip's Academy. 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  7. ^ "Aga Khan lays foundation stone for school in India", Agence France Presse, September 2006 

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