The FINANCIAL — Tbilisi Free University and Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University were the most popular universities during the 2011 Unified Entry Examinations.
This year the state has set its priorities and the financing system has changed according to it. The new financing system resulted in some small changes in the competition for certain programmes and universities. As a result the ratings of exact and natural sciences, and engineering also, have slightly increased. The difference between the competition for state and private university places was quite big. State universities were much more in demand.
Entrants could list 7 possible universities and faculties they wanted to study at. But the competition rate is calculated by their first choice.
The number of places at Tbilisi Free University was 243, while the number of students competing for them was 979. The competition rate for this university was therefore 4.0. For second and further choices demand was decreasing. Tbilisi Free University is one of the most expensive one, as well. Studying fee is 6 950 GEL per year for all programs.
The competition rate at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) was 2.6. But the number was increasing according to further choices. The competition in first choice was 10,940, while the actual number of places was only 4,279. There was high demand for all programmes, especially for the faculty of social and political sciences, humanitarian studies, economics and business.
“It’s interesting that only TSU has increased the minimum margin for entrance, but demand hasn’t reduced at all, if not vice versa,” said Maia Miminoshvili, Head of the National Examination Centre.
Studying fee at TSU is 2 250 GEL for all programs. Price is the same (2 250 GEL) for all state universities in Tbilisi.
Ilia State University was the leader according to entire competition rate, including all 7 choices. First choice competition (4,003) was about twice more than the university’s contingent (2,486). The highest demand was for the tourism programme. 1,169 entrants listed it as their first choice, while the contingent was 300.
Marked by high competition was Tbilisi State Medical University. The competition (2,267) was about twice as much as the contingent (1,205).
Demand was very low for Georgian Technical University, which is one of the central state universities of Georgia. Competition (3,035) was about one third of the contingent (9,096). The rate of competition was increasing according to the order of choices. For last, 7th, choice the competition reached 5,081.
Caucasus University has the most expansive program in Georgia – business administration. Studying fee is 7 500 GEL per year. The lowest price is 3 900 GEL. But the university doesn’t have high competition. Contingent in 2011 was 850 and competition – 284. The rate has been decreasing for the second and further choices.
“There are several factors influencing the competition,” Tinatin Gugberidze, Director of Marketing and PR Department of Caucasus University said. “In the case of Caucasus University we can say that the most vulnerable point for potential customers is price. As due to the fact that nowadays there are a lot of opportunities to study abroad for the Georgian students, sometimes they prefer to go abroad and to continue studies over there. Besides, the requirements at our university are very high, and unfortunately not everybody is able to study here. Therefore our potential segment is very limited.”
“However for us the most important is not the quantity, but quality of students,” she added.
Contingent at Georgian University was 1 450, competition – 593. About the same number was kept for the second and further choices demand. But tourism program, which is one of the most popular one at all universities had quite had about five times less competition (22) than contingent was (100). Studying fee is quite high for business administration programs 6 950 GEL, while for some other programs it goes down to 2 250 GEL.
The Institute of the Black Sea did not have high competition is spite of its popularity. The contingent was 720 and competition – 202. At this university studying fee starts from 4 600 GEL. Maximum price is 5 750 for tourism and business administration programs.
The situation was similar at another leading school Georgian-American University. The contingent was 400 and competition – only 102 with the studying fee of 6 000 GEL.
One of the lowest competitions was at Georgian Agricultural University. The real contingent was 1,000 and competition – only 251. But it significantly increased for second and further choices.
Compared to other universities competition was quite high at arts universities. For example, at Shota Rustaveli Cinema and Theatre State University the contingent was 324 and competition – 514. The highest competition was for the programmes of cinema and theatre acting. There were 24 places and competition was 216. It was one of the highest competition rates in 2011.
The contingent at Apolon Kutateladze Tbilisi State Art Academy was 378 and competition – 629.
Unlike them Vano Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatory wasn’t so popular this year. For most programmes the competition equalled or slightly rose compared to the number of the actual contingent.
Studying for these three arts universities is 2 250 GEL per year.
Georgian Davit Aghmashenebeli University had about seven times lower competition than contingent. The contingent was 687 and first choice competition only 81, last choice competition – 430. Studying fee varies from 4 500 GEL up to 5 700 GEL per year.
The situation was more or less similar at another popular private university – Grigol Robakidze University, where the contingent was 305 and competition – 157. Further choice competition increased as well.
Studying fee for most programs is 4 000 GEL, but for journalism program it reaches to 4 500 GEL and for business administration – 4 850 GEL.
“Accordingly to the current social-economic situation n Georgia we don’t think that competition at Grigol Robakidze University is not low,” Ketevan Apciauri, Head of Public Relations Department of Grigol Robakidze University said. “Of course, it isn’t an ideal one and we are working for better results.”
“Defining factor for such situation is price. Generally qualitative study is an expensive service. Consistently studying fee is quite high at our university. We take into consideration society’s will and reduced the fee for 2011-2012 academic years.”
Demand was very low for universities out of Tbilisi. Most of the university applicants from Georgia’s regions tend to move to Tbilisi and prefer to study in the capital.
The contingent at Shota Rustaveli Batumi University was 1,402, while the competition was 1,887. Psychology was one of the most in demand programmes, where competition was about three times higher than contingent. Fee is 1 500 -2 250 GEL for different programs.
Unlike Shota Rustaveli Batumi University, contingent was (3,640) was higher than competition (2,184) Akaki Tsereteli State University at Kutaisi. Only for few programs, like journalism, justice and medicine was high demand. Studying fee varies for different programs. It starts from 1 500 GEL and reaches 2 000 GEL.
The competition compared to contingent rate was lower at other regional universities: Akhaltsikhe University, Zugdidi University, Sukhishvili University in Gori and University Rvali in Rustavi as well.
According to Maia Miminoshvili there were no big changes in the data of 2011 compared to previous years.
“This year was distinguishable only because of the new financing system and prioritized programmes,” she said. “The state set the programmes which are to be financed for certain university applicants with 70, 50 and 30 percent.”
“It’s very good when the state finances education and wants to encourage entrants to pursue their chosen programme. In our case it’s exact and natural sciences. But they also have to create an environment for future development for this faculty’s graduates,” Mimihoshvili added.
The National Examination Centre has been carrying out Unified Entry Examinations since 2005. Last year it held the first Graduate Record Examinations as well.