|ISET issues the first graduates|
|June 27, 2008|
The first students of the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) will graduate this year.
34 students out of an original 50 will be awarded their Master’s degree in economics. This is the only institution in the South Caucasus that is oriented on economics and, according to Sophio Gujabidze, the Public Relations Manager of ISET, “the only institution that provides a master’s degree for free for the majority of the students.”
According to Gujabidze, the students with the best grades are not required to pay anything, those who have average grades pay half of the tuition, and the students with the lowest academic level have to pay the full tuition of 3200 USD per year.
ISET has an Advisory Business Council that organizes internships and further employment for the graduates. The members of the council are private sector leaders in Georgia. Zurab Nogaideli, Aleksi Aleksishvili, Tamar Lebanidze, Jemal Inaishvili, Irakli Chogovadze, Genadi Malazonia Paata Gadzadze and Philip Pott are the members of the council.
According to Shlomo Weber, the academic director of ISET, 5 graduates will continue studying abroad for a PhD. The students have paid and unpaid internships in the public and private sectors, in places such as the Ministry of Finance.
Weber said: “We don’t produce business graduates, the people who graduate from our university are economists who are capable of making decisions about policies. There is a big demand on such people in the public sector as well as in the private sector.”
Eric Linvy, the Executive Director of the school, said that the entrance exams in this Master’s degree programs are in two subjects: maths and English, and also there is an interview with special commission members. Linvy explained: “We have free preparatory trainings before the exams in math and in English.”
Students from Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as from Georgia study at ISET. As Eric Linvy said, 70 people applied for this program last year and 50 entered in the school but only 34 managed to graduate. 240 people applied for this Master’s degree program this year. “There is a great need for analytical thinking in Georgian economics, and we provide the Georgian market with the best professionals who have the analytical and creative way of thinking,” said Linvy.
According to Eric Linvy many students of ISET also teach at different universities. 22 year-old Grigol Modebadze is one such successful student who will graduate this year. He gives micro economics classes at Tbilisi State University. “I am interested in finance so I think that after graduation I’ll continue working in this field”, said Modebadze.
Lasha Chochua, Maia Grigoriani and Bakar Baratashvili also give lessons at TSU. ISET students Rati Gabrichidze, Zviad Zedginidze and Lasha Labadze teach in the Caucasus Business School.
ISET is supported by the government of Georgia, BP, the Norwegian Ministry of foreign Affairs, The Open Society Institute, SIDA (Swedish International Cooperation Agency), the World Bank, the State Oil Fund of The Republic of Azerbaijan, and the Central Bank of Armenia. Apart from the Master’s degree programs, the school offers a three-year English language program for teachers of economics, which is also free of charge.
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