The program promotes access to quality education and the emergence of qualified professionals in the country – although not everything goes as stated in the stated goals.
Tako Dzagania is one of those whose studies at the Paris School of Business in the state-funded master’s program in cultural policy. Before leaving, he signed a 3-year contract with the center, which outlined his obligations, including that he would return to Georgia within 1 month of completing his studies and then submit a notice to the center about crossing the border and starting service. Tako went to study in France in 2018, and after returning to his homeland, he is looking for a job in vain. Although he fulfilled all the conditions stipulated in his contract and was interviewed in state structures, he could not find a suitable job. The public service has directly told you that working here would be boring because of our bureaucracy. Tako says he was utterly frustrated both during and after his studies in France: due to inadequate communication and interest during his studies, realizing after graduation that his knowledge was not so necessary.
Tako is not the only one who was funded by the state to study and then no longer interested in using his knowledge. During its existence, the International Center for Education, which manages this program, has awarded more than 1,000 scholarships – the Audit Office has examined the effectiveness of the program and found that 30% of young people fail to meet the program condition to work after returning to their profession.
A small part of the beneficiaries of this program do not return to Georgia. There are those who do not even get a diploma.
In 2014-2016, the state, in addition to obliging the scholarship holder to return to Georgia and find employment, also took responsibility for facilitating their employment in public institutions. In the end, the center offered employment to only 13 of the 134 beneficiaries. The state has abolished its obligation since 2016, but scholarship holders are still obliged to return to the country after completing their studies. The Audit Office recorded 6 cases where the beneficiary submitted an employment certificate to the Center, although it was found that the person was not in the country at that time.
The obligation to return to Georgia within one month after the end of the study can be postponed only if the student starts an internship. However, it is not clear on what principle the members of the commission make decisions.
According to the Audit Office In 2015-2020, 57 beneficiaries applied to the Center with a request to continue their internship abroad. The commission gave one of them the right to stay for 14 months – 2 months longer than the established norm, while 3 beneficiaries were refused. ” In general, the audit believes that the commission’s work is refined and international scholarship programs [DAAD, Erasmus +] Recommends the transfer of practice.
Another problem with the program is the lack of qualified staff in the state – most scholarships go abroad to study social sciences and humanities, even in areas where there is a lack of modern knowledge and experience that is important for the country’s development, such as healthcare. Very few people get their education in defense and security, education, public administration or architecture and engineering through this program.
In 2018, the Center requested information about the required staff from 12 different ministries. Only 7 ministries returned the answers – according to this information, the most needed are specialists in engineering, natural sciences and agriculture.
“Despite the results of the survey, the center did not give priority to the contestants in this profession when determining the number of funded beneficiaries.
The number of students funded in the areas required for ministries is quite low. Under the various master’s programs, only 5% of students are funded in engineering, 7% in natural sciences, and 4% in agrarian sciences. Of the three areas, only natural sciences are funded for doctoral programs – 14% ” – We read in the audit report.
In 2014-2019, the International Education Center awarded more than 800 scholarships to Georgian citizens wishing to study abroad, which cost the state budget 33,456,451 GEL. In 2020, 6,980,000 GEL was allocated for the program – neither the Ministry of Education nor the center surveyed its performance. The program aims and whether education received abroad is properly implemented in the country.
2021-2022 for the academic year of Master, Doctorate and Advanced Arts and International Arts On programs The center receives new scholarship applications by April 5.
After the publication of the audit report, nothing was said by the Ministry of Education about the need to set priorities and eliminate the shortcomings of the commission. The Ministry of Education, in addition to the center, also funds Center Alumni Association. In 2019, the Ministry of Education funded a grant competition for members of the Alumni Association – it became one of the winners of the competition “Alumni Counseling Program ” – That is, the Ministry funded a program within the framework of the grant competition of the Center Alumni Association created by the Center, which in fact had to do what is the duty of the Center.