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Authorization suspended at Agrarian University

By Keti Arjevanidze
Wednesday, March 13
The council of the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement made the decision on March 11 after 9 hours of discussion to halt the authorization to Agrarian University with 6 people supporting the idea and with one against. The university will appeal the council’s verdict in Tbilisi City Court.

The lack of books in the university library indicated in the syllabus, several violations in the appointment of lecturers and other details were the reasons behind suspending authorization for Agrarian University.

The National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement monitoring group decided to monitor Agrarian University after former lecturers of the University informed the center that there were violations in the university regarding the standards of authorization and accreditation.

Head of the university, Lasha Gotsiridze, assessed the council’s decision as politically motivated. According to Gotsiridze, the council did not cite any “substantive” arguments and the decision was proven by technical incorrectness, which Gotsiridze thinks does not have any connection with education quality.

He stressed the political pressure on behalf of the council’s decision, adding that the council did not provide the university any terms for eradicating its shortcomings, Gotsiridze said.

Kakha Bendukidze, head of Agrarian University’s Supervisory Council also believes that the authorization council’s complaints do not have any connection with the education quality. Bendukidze assessed the result as the authorization council’s unproductive work.

The Minister of Education, Giorgi Margvelashvili, discussed the issue with the students on March 12. The minister highlighted that the authorization “is not punishment, it is simply an indication of their faults for future improvement.”

The minister also remarked that the politicization of the issue will damage the education system and asked that they do not to speculate on the issue politically.

The administration of the university has been given the opportunity to apply for a new authorization application. In the current semester the studying process will continue. However, according to Rector Gotsiridze, more than 2,000 students studying at Agrarian University from the next semester will be distributed to various universities, which he said means “the university’s end.”

The Georgian President also commented on the issue. According to him, the authorization council’s decision was unreasonable and accused the government in abolishing the “most progressive” university in Georgia and appealed to the government to the review its politically motivated decision.

The authorization process is undertaken at every educational institution in order to receive a certificate recognized by the state.