Webster Tashkent Celebrates Five Years of Success

Webster University Tashkent building

Webster’s campus in Uzbekistan is celebrating its fifth anniversary. Called Webster University in Tashkent, it is the largest international campus, and second largest student community, in Webster’s worldwide network. 

President Schuster speaking at an event in Tashkent in 2024Webster President Julian Schuster speaking at an event on Webster's Tashkent campus earlier this year.

“The idea for Webster Tashkent literally started when (Vice President of Academic Affairs) Nancy Hellerud and (George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology Professor) Brad Scott visited Uzbekistan for a scientific conference and met far-sighted individuals who expressed interest in bringing an American University to the country,” Webster University President Julian Schuster said. “One of Webster’s core values is to meet unmet educational needs, and this conversation shed light on one such need. We had to be true to our mission and find a way to bring educational programs to an area that desired our services. That moment was the seed that would set the stage for many at Webster and in Uzbekistan to nurture that idea and grow it into the success it is today.”

That first discussion was held in 2012, but it would take six more years of deliberations with government and education officials, including a careful assessment of the market and associated entry and sustainability costs, before Webster would hold its first classes in Uzbekistan. During those six years, there were numerous visits by Schuster, faculty members and others to visit educational institutions in Uzbekistan along with meetings with elected officials and government representatives in Uzbekistan. These many visits further accelerated the talks and set the ground for the next phase of the project.

In 2018 and with the cooperation of the Uzbekistan State University of World Languages, Webster offered its Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) program in Tashkent. The University started with this program after determining English fluency was in high demand in Uzbekistan because of the Republic’s intentions to increase national English proficiency and for its’ citizens to be increasingly active in global commercial markets.  

The program was a huge success. With more discussions and more visits by Schuster and others and with the support of the government of Uzbekistan, Webster opened a full residential campus in 2019 in Tashkent with almost 400 students enrolling in programs in business and communication. The TESL program also was expanded. 

President Julian Schuster with graduate students on the Tashkent Campus earlier this yearPresident Schuster meets with some of the graduate students on the Tashkent campus last year.

The campus has continued to grow. Today, the campus enrolls more than 4,200 students, who are studying computer science, management information systems, economics, international relations, education, media and other subjects. The Tashkent campus is expanding Webster’s international mission as never seen before. While most students at the Tashkent campus are from Uzbekistan, the location also hosts students from 25 other countries in the region, countries which previously had never enrolled a student at Webster.

More programs are planned for the coming undergraduate year, including an undergraduate degree in law. Webster Tashkent is also implementing a range of STEM-related and nursing programs with new university partners in Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara. The campus is planned for 5,500 students in Fall 2024. 

Anthony Jarvis
Webster Uzbekistan Interim Director Anthony Jarvis

“There is tremendous demand for the educational opportunity offered by Webster. The community has shown its enthusiasm and support for the quality of our academic programs, the outstanding student experience, and real-world opportunities which come with a Webster degree,” said Webster Uzbekistan Interim Director Anthony Jarvis. “Webster Uzbekistan is a true partnership between the community and the University, where together we are continually assessing the needs of the region and finding ways we can be of service.”

Because of the growth and the demand for more Webster programming, Webster University and The Republic of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Construction signed an agreement in December to build a new campus in Tashkent for Webster. The new campus will be constructed in the “New Tashkent City Center,” located about 15 miles east of the current campuses alongside new government buildings and a new Presidential University. When completed, it will have classroom space for 10,000 students along with residential halls that can house 2,000 students. Webster also will continue to operate in its current location.

Webster and Uzbekistan officials sign an agreement for a new campus
Officials from Webster University and the Uzbekistan government sign an agreement for the construction of a new campus in Tashkent earlier this year.

The reason the government is willing to donate land and buildings to Webster is because the operations in Uzbekistan are mutually beneficial to all partners, Schuster said, adding that Webster will continue to partner with other institutions in the region to share space and resources as Webster Tashkent continues to grow.

“Our presence in that part of the world enables the regional population access to and completion of an American style education and helps develop a career-ready workforce, and not just in Uzbekistan. Our presence in Tashkent has become a central hub in Central Asia and has opened the doors for establishing the presence in other countries located along the historic Silk Road, ” he said. “The breadth and depth of the operations, the rapid growth of the enrollment, and the significantly reduced overhead and reduction in other costs, enable Webster to focus on academic matters.”

He said that future growth in Uzbekistan and Central Asia is augmenting growth in other areas of Webster’s worldwide network. For example, Webster’s enrollment in the U.S. grew by 13% over the past two years, and Webster’s international campus enrollment in Europe and other locations continues to grow.

Visit the Webster Tashkent website for more information about the programs offered.

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