The FINANCIAL — The leading universities in Georgia such as Caucasus University, Free University, Georgian-American University and International Black Sea University are going to put CSR in their tutorial programmes.
The FINANCIAL — The leading universities in Georgia such as Caucasus University, Free University, Georgian-American University and International Black Sea University are going to put CSR in their tutorial programmes. At the moment CSR is being taught at only two universities in Georgia – Ilia University and Caucasus University.
Universities have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the purpose of establishing a joint CSR programme to be implemented in all four universities’ schools of business and further supporting the enhancement of corporate social responsibility in Georgia through education and research.
“As two universities have already put CSR in their tutorial programmes, I hope that others will do the same as well,” said Lela Khoperia, Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility Program Coordinator at the Center for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia. “The European example shows that universities pay big attention to CSR, which is a part of the business curriculum. CSR is being taught as a subject and is sometimes offered as an independent specialty at the universities. If CSR is implemented at Georgian universities it means that it will be an important start of further development of CSR. So the universities will prepare a new generation who will have proper knowledge for implementing CSR projects and will know how to manage CSR activities,” she added.
“Corporate Social Responsibility is being taught at Caucasus University in the second semester of the third course,” said Kakha Shengelia, the President of Caucasus University. “This is a mandatory subject of the business specialty. We added CSR to our tutorial programme in 2011. We think that it is important for CSR to be taught at universities, especially in today’s business environment and for the business management faculty students. About 100 students study this subject at our university every year,” he added.
“The administration of Georgian-American University (GAU) considers supporting CSR to be important for the sustainable development of business, for increasing the level of employees’ and customers’ loyalty and for improving a company’s image and public relations,” said R. Michael Cowgill, the President of Georgian-American University. “GAU is working on implementing CSR as one of the subjects in its tutorial programme. Our university is very socially responsible itself. We are a member of such organizations which are supporters of CSR – AmCham Georgia, Georgian Business Ethics Association, Student Organizations, the UN Global Compact,” he added.
“I must say that I was the first CSR Manager in the Georgian private sector which also proves Wissol Group’s vision for sustainable development,” said Rusudan Kbilashvili, CSR Manager at Wissol Group. “Even though there were no opportunities to get education in CSR in Georgia, I was interested in the field during my studies at the Public Administration Master’s Programme at GIPA and I was the first student to prepare a research paper in Public Private Partnership (PPP), which is one of the directions of CSR. Since then I have not missed opportunities to take professional courses offered by the international organizations and NGOs in Georgia and abroad as well. Now I teach CSR at the International Educational Agency Cambridge Study myself trying to contribute to raising awareness about the new field. Therefore I think that the introduction of CSR classes at Georgian Business Schools is strategic to have responsible businesses in the future and to have qualified professionals to set the right CSR strategies,” she added.