The FINANCIAL -- Georgia
has more foreign students studying in the country than it does home
students abroad. The number of Georgian students that went abroad to
study in the academic year 2012-2013 was 216, compared to that, the
number of foreign students that came to the country during the same
period was 2,910, according to the National Statistics Office of
Germany, Lithuania, Turkey, Poland and Egypt are Georgian students’ main destinations for study. Out of these Germany is the most popular country for Georgian students, the statistics show. Out of the 216 Georgian students that went abroad, the majority of students (32) went to Germany to study. The second most popular country by number of students is Lithuania, with 26. Then comes Turkey with 22 students, Poland with 17, and Egypt with 13 students.
As for the foreign students coming to Georgia for educational reasons, the majority of them - 825, came from India last year, followed by Azerbaijan with 583 students. Nigeria has the third biggest number of students in Georgia. The number of Nigerian students that came to the country for educational reason was 486. Georgia’s neighbouring country Turkey sent 384 students in the last academic year and other neighbouring country, Russia - just 191 students.
These statistics are from data provided by the public education institutions as well as private education institutions in Georgia only. The statistics do not include information about how many Georgian citizens went abroad to study individually.
The most popular destination for Georgian students wanting to further their education abroad in 2010 was Russia, so found a study of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which is the latest study on the topic so far. 2,349 Georgian students said that they would prefer to pursue further education in Russia. The second most popular country for Georgian students was Germany. 2,328 students made the choice for that country. Germany was followed by Armenia (with 928 students) and the United States (444 students).
Germany takes the leading position out of the countries where the Georgian students enrolled at Tbilisi State University prefer to go to, according to Tea Gergedava, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations at Tbilisi State University. “Many students are pursuing higher education in Italy as well. Tartu University in Estonia and Warsaw University in Poland are becoming more and more popular with Georgian students. In general, the number of applicants from Georgia is always high and is growing steadily,” Gergedava said.
“At the same time, the number of foreign students in the country is increasing. For the next term we are awaiting 20 students of the Erasmus Mundus programme and 40 students from other programmes. As foreign students can only apply for English language courses our offers are limited for them compared to the offers that Georgian students are given. Despite the lack of English language courses another challenge for them is the lack of a campus in Tbilisi . These are obstacles that foreign students face in Georgia but despite that, they are generally very content with the level of education they receive here. Tbilisi always gets very positive evaluations from foreign students. As a result our partner universities are asking us to host more students which want to come to Georgia to study,” Gergedava added.
After obtaining her MA degree at Tbilisi State University student Tamar Lobjanidze felt that an outside education and perspective were essential for both her academic and professional growth. Knowing the fact that a European/Western education has a key role in finding success in Georgia she decided to apply for certain scholarships.
“I chose the University of Wroclaw for several reasons. Firstly, I was charmed by its long history of teaching as well as its performance in world academic rankings, producing 9 Nobel Prize winners,” said Lobjanidze. “I also found that the University had the strongest academic records, particularly the Faculty of Social Science, Institute of International Relations where I actually applied. I feel that I already have well-honed academic skills and further competency will help me contribute to my country in a more productive way, so that I may bring a whole new perspective to the process of building a better and healthier society,” Lobjanidze said.
Muhammad Afzal Zahid came to Georgia from Pakistan five years ago, applying to Tbilisi State Medical University. He wants to return to his home country eventually and use the education received in Georgia to look for a good job there.
“I chose Georgia to study in because my friends recommended I study here. They had studied in Georgia and were very pleased with the courses they took. So I took their advice and I don’t regret it at all. This is a good country with a fine climate and education system. I plan to return to my home country and find a job there when I finish studying,” he said.
Preparing all the necessary documentation, having a good academic performance level, writing an impressive covering letter, undertaking foreign language testing and finally - interviews - these are the steps that all applicants must go through if they want to study abroad.
“More and more Georgian students are wanting to study abroad,” said Khatia Jikia, Director of career Development and Alumni Relations Office at Caucasus University.
Caucasus University cooperates with more than 80 leading universities worldwide. 46 of their students took part in exchange programmes in 2012-2013. “The majority of them were studying their bachelor of business administration,” said Mariam Sutidze, International Mobility Manager at Caucasus University. “This is the most popular programme for Georgian students abroad. As for foreign students, we received three students, one each from Austria, the USA and Holland,” she added.