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On 6 November 2016, the Davit Tvildiani Medical University campus was opened in Rustavi. The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, also attended the opening ceremony. In his speech, the Prime Minister mentioned that Georgia is being gradually established as an international education hub. He also added that students from many countries are interested in receiving education in Georgia. The Prime Minister stated: “There are approximately 10,000 foreign students in Georgia and of these students, more than half of them study medicine. These people contribute GEL 50 million to Georgia annually which is a vitally important resource for Georgia’s education system.”

FactCheck

verified the accuracy of the Prime Minister’s statement.

FactCheck

addressed the Ministry of Education and Science to obtain information about foreign students. According to the Ministry’s information, it issues an individual administrative act which grants citizens of foreign countries the right to study in Georgia’s higher education institutions without passing the unified national exams/unified master examinations following a review of application documentation. Thereafter, the individual higher education institutions are responsible for student enrolment.

According to the Ministry’s data, 9,226 foreign students from 87 different countries are currently registered in Georgia. Of these, the largest amount of students are from the following countries: India (1,629 students), Iraq (1,237 students), Azerbaijan (3,514 students), Nigeria (942 students), Turkey (679 students) and Sri Lanka (102 students).

Almost half (3,686 students) of the foreign students in Georgia are studying in the faculty of medicine. This is followed by those in the faculty of business (1,195 students) and the faculty of economics (488).

The Ministry of Education and Science provided FactCheck

with data about average tuition fees in different higher education institutions registered in Georgia. By taking the average of these figures, each foreign student pays approximately GEL 4,120 annually in tuition fees. If we multiply this number by the number of foreign students, we will see that average amount of money paid by foreign students annually in tuition fees constitutes approximately GEL 38 million.

Conclusion

Currently, there are 9,226 students from 87 different countries registered in Georgia’s higher education institutions. Of these, almost half is enrolled in the faculty of medicine. The average amount of money paid by foreign students annually constitutes GEL 40 million. Of note is that this figure is the result of our calculation from the average tuition fees of different higher education institutions. Therefore, the exact amount of money paid by foreign students could be somewhat higher or lower as compared to our figure if calculated based on the precise data reflecting exact amounts of tuition fees paid annually by each foreign student.

FactCheck concludes that Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s statement is TRUE.