Students from the University of St Andrews visited the OSCE Academy in Bishkek

On 17 - 22 March 2016, a group of Masters students, studying the Central Asian region, under the supervision of Professor Frederick Fawn, Director of the Institute of Middle East, Central Asia and Caucasus Studies (MECACS), School of International Relations, University of St Andrews visited the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. It was the 3rd visit to Kyrgyzstan in the framework of cooperation between OSCE Academy and University of St Andrews initiated by Professor Frederick Fawn.

On the first day, students of the OSCE Academy and the University of St Andrews had a joint Role Play on "Solving Water Disputes in Central Asia: The SyrDarya Basin" in order to discuss regional situation on water security issues and interests of the countries involved  this process.

On 18 March 2016, students from two universities had an introductory visit to Jogorku Kenesh and took a tour to the library as well as to press room organized by the staff of the Parliament. Later delegates met one of the Members of the Kyrgyz Parliament, Mr Janar Akaev to discuss the main challenges the country has been facing and the current situation. In the meeting, Mr Janar Akaev told about his background and how he became the Press-secretary of the President and elected as a Member of Parliament. He informed that a "mortgage company" was launched this year in Kyrgyzstan and now all civil servants that do not have an apartment can apply for it. Also he is working on a bill which will prohibit hunting the snow leopards.

During the trip, the delegation from University of St Andrews participated in the Nooruz celebration at the OSCE Academy where they had a chance to explore cultural diversity of the region, some traditions and delicious food. They have also visited the Burana Tower - a large minaret in the Chuy Valley in northern Kyrgyzstan. By the end of the trip they went to a horse race and very much enjoyed this local activity.