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In 2000, His Highness the Aga Khan initiated a programme for the establishment of an integrated network of schools, called Aga Khan Academies, dedicated to expanding access to education of an international standard of excellence. The Academies, which will educate young men and women from pre-primary through higher secondary education, are planned for key locations in Africa and Asia. The first such school, the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, began operating in August of 2003.


Chief Minister of Andra Pradesh, Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and His Highness the Aga Khan lay the foundation stone for the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad, 22 September 2006. Click on image for more information and additional photos.

News Archive

Introduction to the Academies

Overview of the Programme: The International Brochure (192k)

The First Academy: Mombasa (PDF, 4m)


News Archive


To view the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad, brochure, please click
on the image above. (PDF, 5 m)

The Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad: Foundation-Stone Laying Ceremony,
22 September 2006

Brochure on The Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad, PDF, 5m)

Foundation Stone Laying for the Aga Khan Academy, Dar es Salaam (press release) 17 March 2005

Foundation Stone Laying for the Aga Khan Academy, Maputo, Mozambique, 25 June 2004

Inauguration of The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, Kenya, 20 December 2003



The conviction that home-grown intellectual leadership of exceptional calibre is the best driver of society’s future development, and that many developing-country education systems are too engulfed by poverty and numbers to develop their talented young people, has led His Highness the Aga Khan to found a network of catalytic centres of educational excellence around the world, known as the Aga Khan Academies.

The Aga Khan Academies are founded on the underlying premise that what students know is no longer the most important measure of an education; the true test is the ability of students and graduates to engage with what they do not know and to find solutions. The premise holds that a school must not only prepare a graduate for his or her first job, but for a life of inquiry and learning in a world that will change rapidly and continuously. Whereas rote learning may prepare students for jobs that currently exist, an Aga Khan Academy education goes further to prepare young men and women to grasp opportunities in the future.

Located in countries in Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East, the Aga Khan Academies are an integrated network of residential schools offering girls and boys an international standard of education from pre-primary to secondary levels with a rigorous academic and leadership-development experience.

The Currciulum: Rigorous Academics and Leadership Development

The Aga Khan Academies’ education is built on the framework of the internationally recognised International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) programmes. The IB is highly respected for the emphasis it places on critical thinking, active learning, and creative problem solving. It is also renowned for preparing students for admission to the best universities in their own countries and abroad.

Enhanced by academic, co-curricular, and international travel and study experiences unique to the network of Aga Khan Academies, this educational programme will play an important part in fulfilling His Highness the Aga Khan’s vision that these schools will stimulate creativity and intellectual curiosity so that students can adapt and thrive in a world of rapid change, make informed judgements on life’s daily challenges, and place those judgements in an
ethical framework.

The academic and extracurricular programme is intended to foster that ethical and public-minded approach. It is designed to enhance the students’ academic excellence, their sense of civic responsibility, their understanding of global issues, and their analytical and study skills. The programme reflects an understanding of, and great sensitivity to, local languages, history, cultures, and environment.
Aga Khan Academy students will be expected to master at least two languages, including English, to enable them to pursue opportunities in an increasingly interdependent world. Likewise, a programme of computer literacy provides students at all levels with a solid foundation to enable them to take full advantage of information technology.

All Aga Khan Academy students and faculty are members of a far-reaching global network and will travel internationally to spend time at one of the other Aga Khan Academies in order to broaden their outlook and experience. In addition to student and faculty travel, the network enables the free and open sharing of best practices and of each institution’s comparative strengths and expertise, be they academic, administrative, or technological.

Selection on academic and personal promise, not ability to pay

The Aga Khan Academy selects students of promise, good character and serious intent, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. The Academy selects a diverse student body as part of its mission to educate future leaders with a pluralistic sensibility.

Professional Development of Teachers: Faculty committed to students and their own professional growth

The Aga Khan Academies identify and develop teachers of the highest quality who are committed both to the all-round development of young people and to their own professional growth as excellent teachers. The faculty are enriched by opportunities to collaborate with colleagues across the globe and to teach abroad within the Aga Khan Academies network.

An integral part of the Aga Khan Academy’s mission is to strengthen the profession of teaching by investing substantially in the professional development of teachers. A Professional Development Centre will be a key aspect of each Aga Khan Academy and will provide ongoing, collaborative training of Aga Khan Academy faculty as well as teachers from neighbouring government, private and not-for-profit schools. Promoting excellence in teaching, both on campus and in the broader region, is a fundamental goal of the Aga Khan Academy.

International Linkages: Connections to leading institutions across the globe

The resources and linkages of the Aga Khan Development Network play an important part in the realisation and impact the Academies, its teachers, and its graduates will make. Students and faculty benefit from the intellectual and programmatic resources of AKDN’s well established institutions, such as the
Aga Khan Foundation, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the Aga Khan University, and the University of
Central Asia.

The Aga Khan Academies draw upon long-standing partnerships with other universities including Harvard, Oxford, and Toronto, as well as renowned secondary schools such as Phillips Academy, Andover, in the USA and Schule Schloss Salem in Germany to achieve its standard of excellence. Being connected to this global network of institutions enables Aga Khan Academy students and faculty to test and validate their standards of excellence as world-class.

The Residential Campus

The standard of excellence of the Aga Khan Academies will be reflected in the architecture and landscape of the campuses, each of which will be designed by renowned architects. The Aga Khan Academies will have well-equipped laboratories for physics, biology, chemistry; state-of-the-art computing and classroom technology; fully equipped art and music rooms; a well-resourced library; a religion and culture room; a design and technology workshop; student and teacher lounges; a theatre and multipurpose hall; and a dining hall. Excellence is the standard: an excellent environment enabling talented individuals to thrive intellectually and personally.

Athletic facilities will include a swimming pool, basketball and badminton courts, and fields for cricket, football, hockey, and athletics. Aga Khan Academy students will participate in regular competitive sporting activities and other outdoor pursuits that will help them stay fit while developing a strong sense of teamwork and a commitment to doing one’s best in all areas.

The Aga Khan Academy Senior School exists to educate talented students from near and far, and the majority of Senior School students will reside on the campus. Separate student residences will be provided for boys and girls, and all will be closely supervised by faculty and staff. The residential experience will complement the academic experience and include a rich array of activities and leadership opportunities to enhance students’ learning and growth.

The Graduate: Creating fearless learners and ethical leaders

Time and again, His Highness the Aga Khan has underlined the importance of three concepts he sees as essential to creating, stabilising and strengthening democracies around the world: meritocracy, pluralism, and civil society. These are all values the network of Academies strives to instil in its students – values they will embody and carry with them throughout their lives.

In the Aga Khan Academy network of schools, every aspect of the environment – from its faculty and curriculum to its facilities and community service programmes – will reinforce these values. Students will benefit from the experience of a pluralistic learning community, enabling them to become true citizens of the world – citizens who are knowledgeable about and open to other cultures and traditions. The Aga Khan Academies aim to create fearless learners and ethical leaders who will go on to the best universities anywhere in the world, pursue careers of their choice, and build and lead the institutions of civil society in their countries and across the globe.

The Academy’s students are expected to become:

  • Inquirers who are curious, independent learners;
  • Knowledgeable across a range of disciplines and traditions;
  • Thinkers who are critical and creative, who fearlessly approach complex problems and make ethical decisions;
  • Communicators who express ideas confidently and creatively, orally and in writing, in at least two languages, and through art and music;
  • Principled young people with a strong sense of integrity, honesty, fairness and justice, who respect the dignity of individuals, groups and communities, and who take responsibility for their own actions and their consequences;
  • Caring people who are empathetic and compassionate and respect others’ needs and feelings while also being personally committed to making a positive difference in the lives of others and the environment;
  • Stewards who are motivated to leave their world a better place;
  • Open-minded learners who understand and appreciate their own personal histories and cultures while, at the same time, they recognise and value plurality, and actively seek a range of perspectives;
  • Balanced young men and women who understand the importance of maintaining personal well-being and physical, intellectual, and emotional balance for themselves and others;
  • Thoughtful individuals who care about their own learning and personal development and are able to analyse their own strengths and weaknesses; and
  • Young men and women capable of becoming global leaders, who perceive and anticipate needs and problems locally and globally and who are able to motivate themselves and others to tackle those problems, confidently and in a spirit of cooperation.


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