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Compiled by Tato Gachechiladze
Friday, March 30
Ministry of Education revamps university entrance exam procedure

Rezonansi reports that 37 000 students will take the Unified National Exam (university entrance exams) this year, in order to vie for 35 000 slots.

While the numbers indicate that there is little competition, some faculties are more popular than others, particularly those in science and technology.

The Ministry of Education and Science have made changes to the exam procedures for 2012. Secondary transfers have been canceled, and rather than seven, students choose twenty favourite schools to apply to.

Before they can take the national exams, prospective students must pass exams in eight subjects at their high schools. Each subject will have a 5.5 point limit, and examinations by subject will take place on the same day in all schools across Georgia.

The Ministry also clarified that there will not be any misunderstandings, unlike last year. In 2011, some students were enrolled in universities that did not have accreditation. Such institutions are not able to issue degrees and as a result, students had to be moved to different schools.

English now the major foreign language in Georgia

For the Unified National Exams this year, 73% of entrants are registered to take a foreign language exam in the English language, while 17% chose Russian, 7% German, and 3% French, 24 Hours reports.

This distribution is the result of educational reforms currently being implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science. Two years ago, only 45% of entrants chose to take the English language exams.

The program Teach and Learn with Georgia, which has been successfully implemented by the Ministry for almost two years, has played a role in the promotion of the English language. Thousands of native English speakers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries, have been hired as volunteer teachers in order to expose Georgian students to the English language. The foreign teachers are also helping Georgian educators develop their professional skills.

The share of students now taking their foreign language exams in English is seen as a clear indicator that English has quickly become the most in-demand foreign language in Georgia.