Tbilisi State University
University description (as per official university website)
Tbilisi State University (TSU) was founded in 1918 by a western educated famous Georgian historian Ivane Javakhishvili and the group of his followers. It was the first institution of higher educational in Caucasus at that time.
Georgia has an ancient tradition of education the evidence of which are the education centers scattered throughout the world: the School of Philosophy and Rhetoric of Phazisi in Colchis (IV c.); the cultural-enlightenment centers in Palestine (V c.), Syria (VI c.), Greece (X-XV cc.) and Bulgaria (XI c.); Gelati and Iqalto Academies in Georgia (XI-XII cc.); However, because of strained political and economic situation in the middle ages and then joining Russia, there was not a single institution of higher educational Institution.
The opening of the University, on 26 January 1918, was the day commemorated to the memory of Georgian King David the Builder. A church in the TSU garden, named after the King, has been functioning since 5 September 1995. In 1989 the University was named after its founder - Ivane Javakhishvili.
One of the founders of TSU Petre Melikishvili, an eminent chemist, was elected as the first rector. At the start, the university had only one faculty – the faculty of philosophy. In the beginning of 1918 the board of professors and lecturers numbered 18, the student body of the university accounted 369 students and 89 free listeners.
Despite the Communist ideology and censorship, Tbilisi State University managed to maintain enthusiasm, devotion to national ideals, and establishment of scientific centers and raised the prominent members of Georgian intelligentsia.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the end of the 20th century, a new era started for TSU: Together with Christianity, the historical mission of the country- to grow the sense of national self-consciousness and care for the spiritual ideals was included among the university goals.
Today the number of professors involved in teaching and training is around 3275, including 55 academicians and corresponding members of the academy, 595 professors and doctors, 1246 assistant professors and candidates of sciences. Over 35 thousand students are pursuing their degrees at 8 regional branches of the university. A very important step toward modernization was in 1994 when the university scientific council adopted "The Concepts of University Education”. The document officially introduced new instruction structure at the University that transferred from one level (5 years) study system to two-level system and advanced to integrate in the European educational environment.
Today TSU is a driving force behind Georgian higher education. As a forward-looking university, TSU realizes that it faces new demands and strives to meet the challenges of 21st century by offering a top class education, developing research opportunities, enhancing its material-technical base and resources. The university’s main directions, principles, values and reforms are carried out dynamically in a systematic, coordinated manner and have placed TSU on a development path leading towards a common world and European Higher Education Area.
Today TSU is the largest university in Georgia with 6 enlarged academic units (departments) and 18,422 students. There is 873 fulltime and 899 part-time academic staff at TSU. TSU has eight campuses, 3 scientific-research and study-scientific institutes, 81 scientific-research laboratories and centers, 161 study laboratories and rooms, clinical hospitals, diagnostic centers and libraries.
In May 2005 Georgia joined the Bologna process and the transformation of the Georgian educational space began. Major novelties were introduced in Tbilisi State University. In 2006 the university successfully passed the institutional accreditation for the period of 2007-2012. New specialties have established at the University and new rules for administrative and academic registration was enforced.
By making the university more demand-driven for both the domestic and international markets, and better understanding how intellectual property can be utilized as an income source (e.g.: the commercialization of research activities and publications) the university hopes to create new products and services that will contribute to its sustainability and independence.
The development of internationally recognized accreditation standards and PhD and certification programs, TSU hopes to attract more international students, as well as to allow Georgian students increased opportunities to study abroad. This also speaks to the development of western-thinking leaders in the country as well as the wider region by making the university more demand-driven for both the domestic and international markets and with the development of internationally recognized accreditation standards and programs.
Numerous universally recognized scientific schools were established at TSU. These are the schools of mathematics (Andria Razmadze, Nikoloz Muskhelishvili, Ilia Vekua, Viktor Kupradze, Andro Bitsadze), physics (Elepter Andronikashvili, MateMirianashvili, Vagan Mamasakhlisov, Givi Khutsishvili Albert Tavkhelidze), psychology (Dimitri Uznadze and others), physiology (Ivane Beritashvili).
Also notable are the national scholarly schools of Georgian historiography (Ivane Javakhishvili and others), history of literature (Korneli Kekelidze and others), Georgian philosophy (Shalva Nutsubidze and others), study of art (Giorgi Chubinashvili and others), Georgian and Caucasian linguistics (Akaki Shanidze, Giorgi Akhvlediani, Arnold Chikobava), Oriental and Classic philology (Grigol Tsereteli, Simon Qaukhchishvili, Giorgi Tsereteli).
TSU is the well-known center for development of humanities. The scholarly journal Georgica (in German), published jointly by Tbilisi University and Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, has been issued annually since 1978. Georgica is is published in Constance (Germany) through the cooperation of four universities - those of Tbilisi, Jena, Saarbrucken and Constance since 1991. The international scholarly journal Phasisi has been published since 1999 by the Institute of Classical Philology, Byzantine and New Greek Studies, which was founded in 1997 through the support of the governments of Georgia and Greece, scientific-educational centers and intelligentsia. TSU also publishes a scientific journal on American Studies (since 2002).
Thanks to the scientific activity of TSU scholars Kartvelology (Kartvelian Studies) has turned into the international scholarly discipline. The relevant chairs and scientific research departments serve for preparation of post-graduate students and scientific degree explorers.
Medical education was restored at the university in 1994. An assembly of TSU university medical clinics offer excellent labs, material and technical equipment and highly qualified scientific-intellectual staff. The TSU Medical School operates a Center of Public Health Management and Department for Continuous Medical Education. TSU diagnostic center in addition to teaching provides health care services to its professors and to the general public.
TSU was one of the founder of "The Caucasian School of Business" (CSB). CSB was established in 1999 is now a leading business school in Georgia. It trains specialists in business administration within the framework of the Bachelor's and Master's courses.
TSU is the main host of scholarly international conferences in Georgia. The following are notable: International symposia of psychologists (in 1979 and 1986, breakthrough conference for Soviet idiology on the theme of subconscious), symposia on Georgian art (II-1977, IV- 1983, VI- 1989), international symposia on the teaching of the Russian language and literature (1980, 1984, 1988), problems of German literature (1983, 1989), Classical philology (1969, 1975, 1980,1990, 1995, 1996), religion and ethics (1907, international private law (1985), international symposia on Kartvelian Studies (I-1987, II-1988, III-1995).
Caucasian studies is one of the major trends of scholarly research, having inherited rich traditions. "Caucasica", an international scholarly journal, has been published since 1998. Three international conferences have been held over the recent period on urgent issues such as, "Caucasus in the context of world history" (1996), "Peaceful Caucasus" (1998), "Caucasus at the turn of the millennia." Summer schools are regularly held for foreign scientists in Kartvelian studies (Kartvelologists).