Partnership with Aga Khan University and Aga Khan Development Network

Aga Khan University (AKU) and its parent organization the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) are important partners of the University of Alberta. AKU is based primarily in Pakistan and East Africa and collaborates with UAlberta in the areas of health sciences, education, the arts, and libraries. Student activities have included UAlberta student participation in internships at AKU. 

AKU and the University of Alberta share a strong commitment to the public good and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The AKDN network also includes the University of Central Asia (UCA), a unique institution established with the support of the governments of Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan. UAlberta has sponsored student agreements in place with both AKU and UCA.

In addition, the University of Alberta has received graduates of Aga Khan High Schools and Aga Khan Academies, including some through the four-year University of Alberta Global Citizenship Scholarship designated for graduates of the Academies. 

A highlight of the relationship between AKDN and the University of Alberta is the 4.8-hectare Aga Khan Garden, Alberta, opened in 2018 at UAlberta’s Botanic Garden just south of Edmonton during a visit by His Highness the Aga Khan. The spectacular garden, which integrates a contemporary interpretation of Islamic landscape architecture in a northern climate, was developed through the generous support of His Highness—a gift in excess of $25 million. It is a symbol of the ongoing partnership between the University of Alberta and AKDN—a collaboration that has fostered intellectual, cultural and education exchange for over a decade. 

The Ismaili community in Edmonton is actively involved in supporting connections between the University of Alberta and AKDN, in particular through the Garden.

In 2009, His Highness the Aga Khan received an honorary doctorate of law from UAlberta and, in the presence of Alberta’s premier, signed a memorandum of understanding establishing cooperation with the University of Alberta. In 2019, the University of Alberta received a visit by senior members of AKU including their provost, Dr. Carl Amrhein, to discuss further cooperation.