The FINANCIAL -- Members of Georgia’s current Cabinet of Ministers are better educated,
it seems, with the majority of them holding post-graduate degrees and
PhDs as well as having attained degrees abroad. Almost all of the top government ministers have postgraduate degrees, many of them from different foreign countries. The situation now is totally different to that of just two years ago. At that time only a few ministers had Master’s degrees or had studied abroad.
Research done by The FINANCIAL in 2010, based on the educational backgrounds that then-ministers possessed, indicated that a Master’s or postgraduate degree was not always a necessary or decisive factor in running for government positions in Georgia. Of Saakashvili ’s Cabinet of Ministers, out of the nineteen ministers, including the PM, ten had completed Bachelor’s degrees at Tbilisi State University, five had completed Bachelor’s at a Technical University, and only two had graduated from foreign universities with Bachelor’s degrees, one minister from Rustaveli State Cinema and Theatre University and the other from the Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary.
Some experts think that having a Master’s degree is a requirement for the position of state minister; others do not consider it essential for good governance. In light of this The FINANCIAL had a look at the qualifications of those in the present government.
Bidzina Ivanishvili himself graduated from Tbilisi State University, the Faculty of Economics. After graduating from TSU he then continued his post-graduate studies at MOSCOW University. His thesis was on the topic Scientific Organization and Labour Economics.
Irakli Gharibashvili, Minister of Internal Affairs, the youngest member of the current Cabinet of Ministers, started his studies at Tbilisi State University, the Faculty of International Law and International Relations, with a specialization in International Relations. Gharibashvili studied at Sorbonne University’s Faculty of Political Sciences (specialization in International Relations) in Paris, France. After returning to Georgia he graduated with a Master’s degree in International Relations from Tbilisi State University. He is fluent in English, Russian and French.
His whole working experience is related to Bidzina Ivanishvili’s business as Gharibashvili has worked in various positions at different companies and organizations owned by the Georgian billionaire, including Cartu Group, Cartu Bank, LTD Burdji and others.
Nodar Khaduri, the Minister of Finance of Georgia, received education in economics both in Georgia and abroad. He attended Tbilisi State University and successfully graduated from the Faculty of Economics with a specialization in macroeconomics. He later became a postgraduate student of the Georgian Science Academy. In 2002 Khaduri defended his dissertation on the topic Specificity of Formation of Macroeconomic Politics in the Post-Soviet Transformation Period (based on the example of Georgia).
Khaduri went on to cement his qualifications in Austria at the Joint Vienna Institute (fiscal politics, macroeconomic analysis and politics), Swedish Development Agency (Tax policy) and Egypt Development Agency (export stimulation). He knows English and Russian. Khaduri is the author of more than 100 scientific works published in the USA, Hungry, Bulgaria, Sweden, Russia and Azerbaijan.
He was an assistant of the Minister of Economics in 1996-1997 and Deputy Minister of Finance in 2003-2004. As well as these posts he worked at different positions, and was a full professor, at Tbilisi State University.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Minister of Economics and Sustainable Development, studied at Tbilisi State Medical University but later changed direction and continued his studies at the Faculty of Economics in Industrial Planning. Kvirikashvili studied at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, IL, USA, getting a Master of Science in Finance. He knows Russian and English.
Maia Panjikidze graduated from Tbilisi State University. She has a PhD in Philological Sciences. Panjikidze studied at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena in German. Her work experience is divided into two parts. The first is related to diplomacy. At the same time she has been a full professor and is the author of several works. Panjikidze knows the English, German, Russian and Dutch languages.
Irakli Alasania, Minister of Defence, has the military rank of Reserve Colonel. He graduated from Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Law, and the Georgian Academy of Security. He was Deputy Minister of Defence in 2004. As well as these achievements he was also permanent representative to the UN of Georgia. Alasania was awarded the Vakhtang Gorgasali Order II Rank. He is fluent in English and Russian.
Tea Tsulukiani started her studies at the Ampere Lyceum in Lion, France, where she got a Bachelor’s degree in secondary education. Tsulukiani studied at Tbilisi State University, the Faculty of International Law and International Relations as well as the Diplomatic Academy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After graduating, she continued her studies at the National School of Administration (ENA) in France and got a Master’s degree in public administration.
Giorgi Margvelashvili, Minister of Education and Science, was awarded a Diploma in Philosophy, a Teaching Certificate, graduating with the Highest Honours from Tbilisi State University. He did his postgraduate studies in Sociology in Prague, the Czech Republic. He later did another postgraduate degree at the Academy of Science’s Institute of Philosophy. Margvelashvili finished his studies at Tbilisi State University with a PhD in Philosophy.
Davit Narmania, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, got his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Manager’s Qualification at Tbilisi State University. The major topic was on Organization and Management of Foreign Economic Activities. He got his Master’s degree in Economics from Tbilisi State University, the Faculty of Management and Microeconomics, with a major in International Business Management. Narmania increased his qualifications with a PhD in Economics from Tbilisi State University as well. He studied at the Faculty of Management and Microeconomics with a major in Sectoral Economics. He knows Russian, English and German.
Kakha Kaladze, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Guram Odisharia, Minister of Culture and Monument Protection, Levan Kipiani, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, and Sozar Subari, Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia, are cabinet ministers who have no master’s degrees and have only studied in Georgia.
Subari studied at Tbilisi State University’s Faculty of History, with a major specialisation in Ethnography. He later studied at Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, the Faculty of Theology. He was Ombudsmen of Georgia for 5 years (2004-2009). Subari has extensive experience in teaching.
Kaladze graduated from the Faculty of History at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. Kaladze was awarded Vakhtang Gorgasali’s Order II Rank. He knows English, Italian and Russian.
Odisharia graduated from Sokhumi State Pedagogical Institute, Faculty of History and Philology. He knows Russian, German and English.
Kipiani studied at Tbilisi State University’s Faculty of Law, with a major in Law. He knows Russian and English.
Davit Sergeenko, Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, graduated from Tbilisi Medical University. He studied at the Doctors’ Training Institute in MOSCOW with a specialization in intensive care. He upgraded his qualifications at the Berlin Heart Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital, in Aberdeen, the United Kingdom, as well as in Tbilisi .
Davit Darakhvelidze, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia, graduated from Georgia’s Technical University’s Civil Engineering Faculty and Tbilisi State University’s Legal Faculty. He learnt political studies at the EU school. Darakhvelidze knows English and German.
Davit Kirvalidze, Minister of Agriculture, started his studies at Tbilisi Foreign Languages Educational Institute, with a major in the English Language. He got his degree of Doctor of Science at Georgia’s Agriculture University and MOSCOW State University. Kirvalidze got an MA in Agricultural Chemistry from Georgia’s Agriculture University.
Khatuna Gogaladze, Minister of Environment Protection, got her first degree from Tbilisi State University, the Faculty of Biology. She completed her Master’s degree in Public Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA, as well as in Environmental Sciences and Policy at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary.
Alex Petriashvili, Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, got his Bachelor’s degree of Economics and Social Geography from Tbilisi State University. He later graduated from NATO Defence College in Rome.
Paata Zakareishvili, State Minister of Georgia for Reintegration, graduated from Kazan State University. He later graduated from Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary.
“For ministers it is important to have a Master’s degree as it ensures they have greater knowledge, are more educated and can therefore contribute more, considering the present trends,” said Kakha Shengelia, President of Caucasus University. “After finishing a Bachelor’s degree, which is four years of study, you already possess a basic level of university education after which you can apply for a Master’s programme to further build your education.”
Akaki Tavadze, Professor at Free University, thinks the opposite. “A minister, as a manager of the highest rank, should have the ability to view things conceptually. Therefore having a master’s degree is of lesser import. One should be able to form the most effective future planning and strategic goals, coordinate subdivisions and have good communication skills. A minister must be able to solve conflicts as well as be responsible for an entire staff force. In view of that, having a Master’s degree is not always necessary for a government minister.