The FINANCIAL — Prices for master’s degree programmes in accredited universities have decreased drastically compared to the same programmes of the last year. There are 57 state and private universities according to the National Examinations Centre which provides different master’s programmes for Georgian students.
Most of the Universities are claiming that the pricing policies have been revised because of the global economic crisis as well as due to the competitiveness faced by many European and American universities.
Registration for national master’s exams started on 8 April and will continue till 10 May. They are available in any of the accredited universities.
A candidate is required to have a copy of their national identity card;
A Bachelor’s degree diploma from the relevant university;
2 photos (3×4);
Verification of payment for the exam;
Copy of a document identifying the corresponding academic degree received abroad (in Georgian).
Participation fee for the master’s degree programme is 50 GEL and the exam itself will be in the middle of July 2010. This exam is designed to check intellectual skills based on the following criteria:
Unified master degree exams;
Text readings and analytical writings;
Registration out of Tbilisi takes place in Batumi, Kutaisi, Senaki, Samtredia, Khoni and Gori.
The FINANCIAL has made a study about several universities and their masters’ programmes.
Caucasus University which consists of 7 schools (CSB, CSL, CST, CSG, CSH, CSM, CSL) offers different pricings for their specialties. The registration period is from 8 April to 10 May.
As the master’s programme director at CU Mr. Akaki Kheladze stated, the prices have been cut because of an overall price tendency to go down on the one hand and Global economic crisis on the other. Despite those challenges we continue to offer different preferential price cuts that will enable students to pay less based on the ratings they get in unified master’s degree examinations. In addition students pay only for the number of courses registered in a given semester and stay flexible with the duration of the whole master’s programme. So basically students can allocate their time to study from 1.5 to 5 years.
‘We give students the opportunity to study at Grenoble Graduate School of Business, France, which is a top European school. This is a full time course with 120 credits by which they get dual diploma. We also partner with different universities in the US like University of Atlanta, Chester University, etc.
“Overall prices have decreased by 16%. Especially for Caucasus School of Business which compared to last year’s 142 has come down to 120 GEL (per credit).”
“Kheladze says CU considers FreeUni its potential competitor as they offer a similar programme in Business Administration for 6,600 EUR.”
Q. As you know the number of students willing to take their master’s degrees abroad has increased significantly over the last couple of years. What do you think the reasons for that could be?
A. I think the main reason is the international environment that they are attracted to, and the experience that they will get there being more valuable than in Georgia. Although I’d underline one thing, that out of our top-notch lecturers, 90% of them have undergone trainings and have been educated in the US or Europe thus have extensive professional experience.
Q. Does Caucasus University negotiate with any bank to provide student loans?
A. As you know getting student loans has become very tough since the crisis, but we have cooperated with Bank Republic to still offer those loans.
Students are encouraged to apply for admissions to ISET (International School of Economics at TSU). The Master’s Programme in Economics begins in February 2010. Qualified applicants will receive a generous financial aid package, including subsidized student loans, scholarships, and stipends. The most outstanding applicants are eligible for stipends of up to 500 USD a month.
As Mrs. Mzia Mikeladze, ISET Deputy Director, stated, admission to this programme is open for any citizen of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and neighbouring countries who holds an undergraduate diploma from an accredited institution of higher education. Registration for the master’s degree programme lasts till 3 May.
“The admission process consists of three main stages: online submission of an application package, admission exams, and interview. Additionally Georgian citizens are required to pass the Georgian National Master’s Exams in order to enrol at ISET. I’d add that admission exams are in English and Math. And if they pass these exams it means that they have a high chance of getting good scores in the National Master’s Exams.”
“Thanks to generous support from a number of local and international sponsors, ISET is able to provide merit-based and need-based scholarships covering from 60% to 100% of tuition costs. In general the full tuition is 8,000 USD. So the best students will study for free, while others will be expected to pay only 1,600 USD or 3,200 USD per year. In addition, ISET will provide living stipends, housing support (for out-of-town students) and/or assist students in obtaining educational loans.
“ISET offers a two year master programme in economics, in total they are comprised of 120 credits. All of the courses are taught in English so students willing to apply for our programme ought to be fluent in English. After all the courses are passed the student has to write a master thesis which represents a significant piece of independent economic research on a topic chosen by the student with guidance from the faculty.”
IBSU (International Black Sea University) offers 8 different academic programmes for master students. In addition for the 2010 term an education faculty has been added to the list. As for the tuition fees they haven’t changed and remain 3,000 USD (50 USD for one credit) except for the new faculty (30 USD per credit).
“Despite the fact that prices haven’t changed, IBSU offers payment with 10 instalments per year so the student has the opportunity to pay gradually throughout a year. Also the ones who have a Toefl certificate will have a discount of 10%,” says Mrs Natela Doghonadze, Vice rector at IBSU.
Q. What accounts for the number of students leaving Georgia to study abroad?
A. There are a couple of reasons for that, one of them is the fame/prestige that they want to obtain by going there. Another is the international environment where they want to live.
Q. Which dual programmes is IBSU offering?
A. Currently we are negotiating with Turiba University in Latvia and in June we’ll have partnership with them, also we are going to have student exchanges with Sapienza University, Rome, which is the 2nd largest according to the number of students. Unfortunately these programmes aren’t available this year for masters students..
As well as the master’s programmes in Georgia there is the MA Scholarship Programme operating since 2005. Its aim is to fund the studies of Georgian citizens in leading world universities. Candidates go through the procedures of university admission independently. She/he has to independently select the university from the priority list of the fund, fill in the application form and meet all the requirements of the university.
As for the statistics 33 candidates were funded in 2005. In 2009 this number reached 121 by allocating 7.5 GEL. The amount of candidates being financed depends on the budget which the state allocates annually. www.mes.gov.ge/
From the preferred countries the UK stands on first place, then comes Netherlands and the US. The MA programme grantees come to study the fields of business administration, law, engineering and sciences, social sciences and humanities.
From students’ perspective, studying abroad is commonly perceived to be the cornerstone for their future standings.
“I’d rather prefer studying abroad especially in the Universities where language of instruction is English. Despite the fact that tuition fees are considerably expensive, there is also greater chance of getting employed with higher salaries after coming back also by going there you not only get a quality education but also enlarge your friends network so that you may start-up business relationships sometime in the future. Actually I wanted to continue studying in Germany but in most of the universities subjects are taught in German so right now I’m looking for applying other universities that have similar programs but in English. At IBSU we were offered dual degree programs with Troy University but as long as tuition fees being so high I couldn’t afford to do so that’s why I’m doing my best to get a scholarship to continue my studies,” says Maka Shvelidze, Senior student at IBSU.
“At CU there are several exchange/dual programs that let you go and study abroad. As for my case is a bit different, this year my instructor of economics, Ani Jobava, recommended to me and my friend one of the top Universities in USA. This was Mount Holyoke College (MHC), thereby I began to gather all necessary documents for application. Report and transcripts from High School, Official Report from University Official and transcripts from University, Mid-Term Report and several Evaluation Letters from instructors. I sent all this by post and at the same time I have filled application for Financial Aid, cause Tuition and other expenses` cost is really huge. And finally I was admitted MHC, so now I am a student of two universities Caucasus University and Mount Holyoke College I’m leaving for US this summer,“ states Tea Gongadze, sophomore student at CU.