Dastur Ardaşır University

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Dastur Ardaşır Üniversitäsi
Dastur Ardashir University
Dastur Ardaşır Üniversitäsi Dastur Ardashir University Logo
Local Language(s) Turcoman, Üzbek, Qazaq, Qaraqalpaq, Tajik, Kırğız, Persian
Established early 1500s
Location Aşğabat, Turkestan
Enrollment ~12,750
Faculty 1146
Rector Daryuş Ğalımjan-ulı
School Colours Purple, Gold and Black
Aşğabat in Turkestan
Aşğabat in Turkestan

Dastur Ardaşır University is one of the top four universities in Turkestan. As is the case with many Turkestani educational establishments, it was initially religious in conception; in this case, Zoroastrian.

Dastur Ardaşır University is one of the only specifically Zoroastrian institutes of higher learning outside of Persia, and the high level of education given at this establishment is often seen as a credit to the Zoroastrian faith and/or the Persian government.


Founded in the early 1500s during a period when Persian influence in Central Asia was high, Dastur Ardaşır University was started as an educational establishment for the nobility with a distinctly Zoroastrian slant on its pedagogy. Unlike Avicenna University and the School of Samarqand, Dastur Ardaşır University's seminary was a secondary consideration in most of its history.

Under Russian rule in the 1800s, the university was almost closed, being seen as a naturally Persian-leaning establishment probably involved in the fomenting of unrest against Mother Russia. In fairness, this criticism was probably fairly accurate, but the faculty seem to have managed to stave off the closure of their university, though quite how this was achieved is unclear.

In the early Qurultaı period, Dastur Ardaşır University was one of the primary groups pushing the adoption of the Persian Pahlavi script as a national standard. Several of the faculty continued to push the Pahlavi script even after the Literacy Committee had decided on the reformed Soğdo script as the national standard. This example of academic bloodymindedness led to popular accusations of being "unpatriotic", however, and the faculty concerned were eventually disciplined.

During the Snorist era, a quota system was imposed by Mızar Aman Beğ-ulı Ilxan, under which DAU was required to accept at least 35% non-Zoroastrian students. This quota system lapsed at the fall of the EBÜK in 1990.

The Modern University

Today, Dastur Ardaşır University is one of Turkestan's top four universities, along with the School of Samarqand, İbn Sına University and the National Institute. Its arts departments in particular are first-rate, and it has very good agricultural, business and economics faculties.

There has periodically, as in the Russian period, been controversy over DAU's supposedly pro-Persia political stance, with some critics complaining that Persia has undue influence in what is actually a Turkestani educational institute. Persia's so-called "influence" is actually minimal if any; though there are periodic charitable donations to the institution from among the Zoroastrian hierarchy.


  • Faculty of Fine Arts
  • Faculty of Music
  • Faculty of History
  • Faculty of Literature
  • Faculty of Modern Languages
  • Faculty of Ancient Languages
  • Faculty of Agriculture
  • Faculty of Business
  • Faculty of Economics
  • Faculty of Political Science
  • Faculty of Zoroastrian Studies

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