Cycles of Higher Education
The higher education system in Georgia consists of three cycles:
- First cycle – Bachelor’s Degree (240 credits);
- Second cycle – Master’s Degree (120 credits); and
- Third cycle – Doctor’s Degree (180 credits).
Within the first cycle programme leading to the degree of Certified Specialist, the credits awarded are 120-180.
Higher Education Institutions
The following are the higher education institutions in Georgia:
- College – higher education institution implementing professional higher educational programme or / and only the first cycle programmes – Bachelor programmes;
- Teaching University – higher education institution implementing higher educational programmes (except for doctoral programmes). It is required to provide the second cycle – Master educational programmes; and
- University – higher education institution implementing educational programmes of all the three cycles of higher academic education.
External quality assurance in Georgia is carried out through an accreditation process which is conducted by the National Education Accreditation Centre http://nea.ge/Eng/DefaultEng.aspx
The state recognises the qualification documents issued only by an accredited or equalised thereto higher education institution. Today there are 12 universities and professional schools in Georgia:
- 5 universities dedicated to art;
- 3 specialised colleges of art;
- 3 general universities in which there are centres or faculties of arts; and
- 2 private institutions in which there are centres or faculties of arts.
In May 2005, Georgia acceded to the Bologna process. The new Law of Georgia on Higher Education binds the institutes of higher education of Georgia to pursue the main priorities of the Bologna process, such as transferring to the three-step system of higher education, quality assurance and accreditation, European Credits Transfers and Storage (ECTS) system, mobility, involvement of students in the decision-making process, compatibility of curricula with the European system etc.
Since 2005, a new model entitled “Money Follows a Student” has been in operation. Two phases of institutional accreditation have also been carried out under the Universal National Examination system, which has secured assessment of entrants by the unified methods and elimination of corruption in this sphere. The cooperation of the Ministry of Education and Sciences with the civil community is in progress.
Under Order N 407 of the Minister of Education and Sciences of Georgia of May 3, 2006 was established the national team for support of the Bologna process. The goal of this team is to set the concrete objectives for the effective implementation of the reforms under the Bologna process in Georgia and to promote the activities determined within the Bologna process. Two members of this team are representatives of the institution of higher art education.
On April 3-5, 2006 under the support and financing of the Ministry of Education and Sciences of Georgia at Shota Rustaveli State University of Theatre and Film was carried out ELIA regional conference – The Higher Art Education and Bologna. The conference was attended by the representatives of various institutes of higher art education. This conference was a significant contribution in making the significant changes in the institutes of higher art education in the light of the Bologna process.
In the autumn semester of 2006, several higher education institutions in Georgia introduced performance based indicators / targets, according to the Bologna process. As the new Law on Higher Education is not fully operational till 2007, there will be some universities adopting the quality management systems at a later date.
Among the institutes of higher art education Tbilisi Vano Sarajishvili State Conservatory and Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Arts have been transferred to the three-step system of education. In 2005-2006 was introduced the ECTS system as well. At Tbilisi Vano Sarajishvili State Conservatory 23 curricula are built on the credit system and at Tbilisi State Academy of Arts – 24 curricula. In 2006 in both institutes a new form of the Transcript to Diploma was issued to the graduates. This form was approved under Order N 149-e of the Minister of Education and Sciences of Georgia (05.04.05) On Approval of the Form for Transcript of the Higher Education State Certificate – Diploma.
Shota Rustaveli State University of Theatre and Film has also been transferred to the tree-step system of higher education. For the University students of the first and second years has been introduced the ECTS system, 114 curricula is built on the credit system. Consequently, at this University the transcripts of diploma will be issued in 2006-2007.
The full reform of education is an urgent and necessary process. However, the ongoing reform of education initiated by the Ministry of Education and Science cannot be defined as adequate. The methodology of transition from the Soviet academic system of education to a new system is underdeveloped; the proposed educational system for culture is inadequate and eclectic; and there is a manifest lack of co-ordination of the respective ministries. In spite of the general declaration of priorities of the Bologna process, the system of reorganisation of art institutions is inclined towards unification, but not diversification.
In 2007, the Law on Higher Vocational Education was adopted which creates the conditions for development of the higher educational system in line of specialties attributed to the practical qualifications. The higher vocational education in Georgia is divided into artisan and artist education, where the artisan education covers the applied specialties and artist education – the art specialties.
The first strategic area of the “Culture Strategy 2025“, adopted in 2016, is devoted to the raising awareness and education issues:
“Chapter II: Strategic Goals
1. Awareness Raising and Education
Goal: Culture and creativity is integrated across all levels of the education system and the public is aware of its importance.
1.1. Objective: Policymakers, cultural professionals, key stakeholders, representatives of other sectors and the general public fully acknowledge the importance of culture and creativity and its role in the country’s sustainable development and social well-being.
- Plan public communication strategy and create appropriate instruments for its implementation in order to raise public awareness regarding the innovative interpretation and representation of the role of culture and creativity, in order to develop necessary audiences (e.g. awareness raising programmes for various target groups and stakeholders focused on developing creative thinking and innovative approaches, teaching of strategic planning, information sharing about creative incubators and start-ups and the role of creative industries, etc.);
- Conduct regular dialogue, hold consultations, promote international best practices and success stories with key stakeholders concerning the importance of culture and its role in sustainable development and social well-being;
- Support the media in highlighting cultural processes countrywide and encourage the development of new media tools which have cultural focus (a culture channel, journal, newspaper, web-pages, etc.);
- Promote the development of training programmes and other relevant initiatives (e.g. awareness-raising campaigns, etc.) for cultural journalist;
- Encourage volunteering in the cultural sector as a form of civic engagement and as an important instrument for personal growth.
1.2. Objective: Culture and creativity constitute an integral part of formal pre-school, general and of non-formal education. They develop creative skills and enhance interest towards culture among children and youth.
- Implement systemic legislative reform of the culture education, among them arts education, and elaborate consequent legal and regulatory mechanisms for culture/arts education as part of the general education system, while taking in consideration the specifics and needs of the sector.
- Integrate culture in pre-school education programmes and encourage the development of creative skills in children attending pre-school establishments;
- Increase the number and quality of culture and arts lessons in schools of general education. Support the integration of culture and creativity into the school educational system through creating stable professional learning and training systems for teachers (develop curricula, refine study and other materials in collaboration with relevant institutions of higher education; integrate innovative and creative approaches in the teaching process);
- Develop comprehensive out-of-school culture education system, including arts education: plan, develop and monitor application of standards (concerning subjects, professional activities, study environment, evaluation, etc.) for out-of-school culture/arts education; determine the status of the tutor working in out-of-school arts education institutions, set their certification guidelines, develop the ranking system of remuneration, etc.;
- With a view to establishing a diverse educational environment and building audiences for the cultural sector, facilitate collaboration between tutors and artists, cultural institutions and organisations within the framework of curricular and extra-curricular programmes (e.g. introduce subscriber/voucher procedures with regard to concerts, theatre and opera performances, exhibitions; organise lectures and shows, participate in amateur companies, etc.).
- Ensure youth and child participation in the cultural and creative activities by means of developing youth cultural centres, summer schools, camps, etc. considering Child Care Standards;
- Based on needs analysis, provide conditions for on-site residences for students in out-of-school arts education institutions in order to ensure sustainability of arts education;
- Plan awards and scholarship schemes, grant programmes, etc. in schools (general formal, out-of-school education) for students and tutors to encourage innovation and creativity;
- Support the development of libraries in school and out-of-school educational institutions (e.g. provide vouchers for purchasing books, computers, audio and video technologies etc.).
1.3. Objective: Higher and vocational educational institutions produce highly qualified professionals for culture and other related fields, create interdisciplinary programmes for students studying culture, technologies, business and other areas and develop academic research in collaboration with research institutions.
- Carry out the legislative reform of the system of culture education, including arts education, and consequently, update legal and regulatory framework of higher and vocational education systems, while taking the specifities of the sector into consideration. Improve related teaching standards, update and enhance the qualification framework of higher and vocational education according to the demands of the contemporary market;
- Improve the quality of the programmes containing subjects related to culture by introducing innovative teaching methodologies and an interdisciplinary approach and by providing manuals, additional study materials and study equipment considering international standards and the latest trends;
- Initiate and facilitate interdisciplinary programmes and projects related to culture, technologies, business and other likely disciplines within and among the institutions of higher education;
- Develop funding instruments with a view to meeting market demand for less-available specialisations, revitalising less-demanded specialisations and also improving access to these programmes, (e.g. expand the list of accredited bachelor degree programmes which are subsidised by the State, enhance the list of prioritised master degree programmes by adding subjects concerned with cultural studies, increase the annual share of State grants directed towards these programmes; finance doctoral programmes of cultural studies etc.);
- Enhance the quality of existing specialisations and related study programmes, particularly unmarketable specializations and the specializations with a lack of qualified professionals (e.g.: cultural managers, curators, librarians, archivists, sound engineers, conservator-restorers, experts on cultural valuables, national costume experts, embroiderers, museum exposition managers, specialists of graphic print, cultural tour and museum guides, etc.);
- Support the development of research institutions of the culture sector by encouraging contemporary research practice, international research initiatives and employing other instruments;
- Develop funding schemes for student research projects and introduce innovative, creative and contemporary academic research practices at all levels of higher education;
- Support the creation and development of student halls of residence at the institutions of culture/arts education in order to increase access to education for local and international students;
- Develop summer schools, residency programmes, scientific and research laboratories, support student and academic staff mobility and international exchange educational programmes and create special funds/programme supporting studying abroad in order to internationalize cultural and arts education;
- Empower study programmes and encourage student engagement in cultural processes by means of strengthening partnerships which involve higher and vocational educational institutions, cultural professionals, cultural organisations and the business sector, both at national and international level;
- Provide support mechanisms, such as awards and scholarship schemes, competitions, grant programmes for the students of higher and vocational educational programmes, amongst them doctoral students, and lecturers;
- Having set the goal of providing opportunities for internship, apprenticeship and work practice for students, strengthen partnerships between universities, cultural establishments, creative industries and the business sector and create incentives for the businesses by developing appropriate support mechanisms (creative vouchers, awards, etc.);
- Support the development and modernisation of libraries associated with institutions of higher education, encourage their integration into international library databases, in order to improve and internationalise learning and research experience.
1.4. Objective: Professional training and life-long learning programmes fully meet the requirements of the contemporary labour market and contribute to the increasing competitiveness of cultural professionals.
- Based on needs analysis, elaborate professional development system, capacity building and training programmes in project writing, fund-raising, audience development, marketing, foreign language skills, training of trainers, etc. for workers of cultural sector, artists and tutor-instructors (trainers) and improve existing programmes by taking into account the latest trends, innovations, new technologies;
- Establish and develop a Legal Entity of Public Law – Cultural Learning Centre, in order to upgrade the national level of professional knowledge and managerial skills within the field of culture and increase its capacity of local and international competitiveness;
- Organise special programmes, including local and international exchange programmes in order to guarantee access to existing scientific and technical experience and promote international professional collaboration for workers of the cultural sector;
- Facilitate professional training of tutors of cultural studies at leading educational institutions.
The interagency working group was established with the aim of improving the arts education; the following is being developed:
- Art and Culture Education Roadmap and Action Plan
- Study of Out-of-School Arts Education Institutions and Action Plan.
In the frames of the grant programme, 3 innovation laboratories will also be created with the involvement of the private sector. The purpose of creation of innovation laboratories is to perform practice-oriented teaching at the universities and to establish a platform for closer cooperation between private businesses and educational institutions. Innovation labs will be also established in mobile applications, computer games, as well as computer graphics and visual effects direction.
- the winner in creative direction is the Academy of Fine Arts;
- the formation of the innovation laboratory involves the private sector;
- the winners in the computer games direction to create the innovation laboratory were jointly announced as Ilia’s State University and Storm Bringer Studios;
- the winner in the creation of the innovation laboratory in computer graphics and visual effects was the joint project of the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs and companies Easysoft, CG Lab; and
- the winner in creation of the innovation lab in mobile applications was the joint project of the Georgian-American University, Leavingstone and Geocell.