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On 9 September 2014, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, participated in a Teacher Training, Professional Development and Career Growth Conference where he delivered a speech. The leader of the government presented the education field reforms and news to teachers. During his speech, Mr Gharibashvili stated:  “The International Education Centre has already funded the studies of 77 students in leading universities of the world.”

FactCheck

took interest in the Prime Minister’s statement and verified its accuracy.

In his statement Irakli Gharibashvili speaks about the International Education Centre, established as a part of the Prime Minister’s Innovative Projects. The main goal of the Centre is to facilitate the training of students according to international standards, taking into account the priority areas of the country. It also aims to help disabled people and those citizens of Georgia living in the occupied territories or other regions of Georgia receive a foreign education.

The International Education Centre has three sub-programmes:

a) The Master’s and PhD sub-programme – aims to fund students enrolled in Master’s or PhD programmes of priority universities and who meet specific criteria;

b) Sub-programme for the Improvement of the Qualification and Vocational Training of Civil Servants – includes the planning and management of qualification improvement courses and vocational trainings in order to provide the public services with professional staff;

c) Sub-programme for Inviting Academic Personnel, Researchers and Practitioners to Georgia – aims to invite academic personnel, researchers and practitioners actively involved in developing certain fields of study in various foreign higher education facilities; it also includes planning, administrating and conducting workshops with the invited individuals.

The International Education Centre provides beneficiaries with full or partial funding. In addition, the beneficiaries for the Master’s programmes take an obligation to work in a field/facility offered by the state for a minimum of three years after finishing their studies.

The priority areas of study, list of universities, Master’s or PhD programmes and the terms and conditions of participating in seminars and workshops can be found on the website of the Centre.

According to the data of the International Education Centre, 78 applicants received funding in terms of the programme from 7 May to 7 June 2014.

It should be noted that before the creation of the International Education Centre the state funded students studying abroad in terms of the Gates of Knowledge programme. The programme was run by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia from 2010. FactCheck wrote

about this programme earlier as well. In total, 29 Bachelor’s, 45 Master’s, three PhD and four creative arts students were funded by this programme in 2013.

Conclusion

According to the data of the International Education Centre, 78 applicants received funding in terms of their programme from 7 May to 7 June 2014. The Centre also specified that the process of signing contracts is on-going and based upon student applications.

FactCheck concludes that the Prime Minister’s statement:  “The International Education Centre has already funded the studies of 77 students in leading universities of the world,” is TRUE.

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