Aga Khan Academies

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The Aga Khan Academies is an initiative of the Aga Khan Development Network. When fully operational, the Aga Khan Academies network will consist of eighteen co-educational, K-12, non-denominational day and residential schools in fourteen countries in Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East.[1] The academic program is based on the internationally recognized International Baccalaureate curriculum.

The aim of the Academies is to nurture future leaders and equip students with the skills and knowledge to support development in their societies. The Academies network will eventually serve approximately 14,000 students, graduating approximately 1,000 students annually.

The following Academies are currently operational:

Future Aga Khan Academies, currently in various stages of planning and development, are slated for the following cities:


The Aga Khan Academies, a network of day and residential K-12 schools, is one of the education agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network. The AKDN operates a number of education programs and institutions spanning from early childhood to university degrees and continuing professional development. Under this umbrella, the specific focus of the Aga Khan Academies is on leadership development for its students.

Each Academy also includes a Professional Development Centre that provides outreach professional development programs for teachers and school leaders from government and other nonprofit schools.[2]

The Aga Khan Academies are being established in fourteen countries across Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East. Three Academies are currently operating in Mombasa, Kenya, Hyderabad, India and Maputo, Mozambique. The next Academies are planned for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Dhaka, Bangladesh. The network of Academies will eventually include eighteen schools with a student enrollment of approximately 14,000 girls and boys, and more than 1,000 graduates annually.


His Highness the Aga Khan, the Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, founded the Aga Khan Academies as one of the AKDN's agencies in 2000.

In 2003, the first Aga Khan Academy opened in Mombasa, Kenya on an eighteen-acre site in the Kizingo area. The Academy started as a day school, with the residential program beginning in 2009. Since May 11, 2005, the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa has been recognized as an International Baccalaureate World School when its Diploma Programme was accredited. The Middle Years Programme and Primary Years Programme were accredited by the IB in 2009 and 2007, respectively.[3]

In 2006, construction began on the second Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad, India on a 100-acre site gifted by the State Government near the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.[4] The Academy's Junior School opened in August 2011. The Senior School and the residential program for senior students opened in 2012, with the first class graduating in 2014. Since September 6, 2012, the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad has been designated as an International Baccalaureate World School when the Diploma Programme was accredited. The Middle Years Programme and the Primary Years Programme were authorised in 2014.[5]

The third Aga Khan Academy opened in Maputo, Mozambique in 2013 with the lower grades of the Junior School. The full Academy is being constructed on a site of approximately fifty-four acres, about twenty kilometers from Maputo's city center. The Aga Khan Academy, Maputo, Mozambique is currently an International Baccalaureate candidate school for the Primary Years Programme.

In 2014, the Microsoft Corporation recognized the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa as a Showcase School, a designation given to 150 schools worldwide. The Academy is the only Showcase School in East Africa and one of two schools in Sub-Saharan Africa.[6]

In 2014, Education World ranked the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad as the sixth best international day-cum-boarding school in India and the best in Hyderabad.[7]


The Aga Khan Academies campuses are purpose built and designed to include core buildings and facilities that are common across all the schools. However, the specific topography of each site, as well as the local culture and architectural idioms, influence the design of each Academy, resulting in significant differences among the Academy campuses.

In addition to academic learning spaces such as classrooms, laboratories and libraries, each campus includes facilities such as a swimming pool, music and art rooms, 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 boarding and dorm parents, who are teachers who live on campus. All residences include a student lounge, study areas and a laundry facility.[1]


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.

Extracurricular activities include clubs and sports. They are required to contribute to the community as part of their extracurricular activities[1] and as the IB Programme stipulates.[8]

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.[1] 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.


“Each campus is to be designed by renowned architects”[9] 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[9] 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.[10]


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).[11] 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.[1]

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.[1] 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.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Excellence in Education" (pdf). The Aga Khan Academies. 2003. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  2. ^ "Speech: Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Inauguration Ceremony of The Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad, India". Aga Khan Development Network. 2013. Retrieved 2015-09-12. 
  3. ^ "Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa". International Baccalaureate. 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Aga Khan Academy gets going in Hyderabad - The Times of India". The Times of India. 2013. 
  5. ^ "Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad". International Baccalaureate. 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-12. 
  6. ^ "Connect with Schools Leaders". Microsoft. 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-12. 
  7. ^ "International School Ranking 2014 across India". Education World. 2014. Retrieved 2015-09-12. 
  8. ^ What we offer: Core requirements, 2005–2007, archived from the original on 21 June 2007, retrieved 2007-06-28 
  9. ^ a b "The Aga Khan Academy: Mombasa" (pdf). The Aga Khan Academies. 2003. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  10. ^ HCP Design and Project and Management Private Limited. "Company Profile". Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  11. ^ "IAP Director's Report" (pdf). Phillip's Academy. 2004. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  12. ^ "Aga Khan lays foundation stone for school in India", Agence France Presse, September 2006 

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