Opportunities for obtaining scholarships and studying at 200 universities in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia were discussed at a meeting with students at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU). George Sharvashidze, Rector of TSU; Petr Mareš, Executive Director of International Visegrad Fund; Anna Sikó, Ambassador of Hungary to Georgia; Eva Dvořáková, Director of Central European Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic; Jana Gašparíková, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Czech Republic to Georgia; Gábor Mikecz, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Hungary to Georgia; representatives of the Polish and Slovak Embassies to Georgia attended the event.
Rector Sharvashidze said that there are a lot of opportunities to study at the universities of Central European countries through exchange programs. “The representatives of International Visegrad Fund and the Embassies of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia to Georgia provided students with information about participation in exchange programs. In addition to International Visegrad Fund scholarships, the universities of all four countries offer scholarships. There are a lot of opportunities for our students to benefit from exchange programs in these countries and receive full funding from the Fund,” he noted.
The International Visegrad Fund was established in 2000 by the governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia and since then, it has been actively supporting regional cooperation, exchange of ideas and mutual understanding between civil society organizations.
Petr Mareš, Executive Director of International Visegrad Fund, noted that the Fund’s scholarships are intended for students of all levels, although some preference is given to MA and PhD students. He said that the meeting with the students was used as an opportunity to provide information. Petr Mareš also added, the International Visegrad Fund offers Georgian students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the universities of the Visegrad member countries, get a scholarship and study for one to four semesters.
The students participating in the meeting received detailed information about the educational programs, scholarships, mobility of international students at the universities of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. At the end of the meeting, the representatives of the International Visegrad Fund and all four embassies in Georgia answered student questions.
Anna Sikó, Ambassador of Hungary to Georgia, stressed the importance of the meeting and spoke about the scholarships offered by the Hungarian universities. She noted that the Hungarian governmental scholarship Stipendium Hungaricum gives young people the opportunity to study at Hungarian universities.
Students of all three educational levels attended the meeting. Zaza Ebralidze, a second-year student of the TSU Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences, is one of those who is interested in the scholarships offered by the International Visegrad Fund. “It was a very fruitful meeting. We familiarized ourselves with educational programs and teaching methods of various universities. We received information about opportunities to study in Central European countries through exchange programs, which is a very good chance for Georgian students. I think we will use this opportunity for the benefit of our country in the future,” he said.
TSU has up to 400 institutional partners, among them universities and research centers, in 56 countries; In 2015-2021, 364 projects with the participation of TSU were financed through Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility program; in 2020-2022, 107 projects were financed through a partnership with more than 100 universities of 29 European countries. TSU is a leader in the South Caucasus region and Georgia in 2015-2021 by the number of students and staff who studied at European Universities and raised their qualifications there. More than 2,500 mobility projects involving students and academic personnel from TSU and partner European universities were carried out during that period. TSU is collaborating with 26 universities of 10 Asian countries; TSU annually participates in Asia Science Camp in various Asian countries (Japan, Singapore, Israel, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.); 900 foreign nationals from 50 countries, including more than 100 international students received annually through Erasmus+ International Mobility and bilateral exchange programs are currently studying at TSU.
For detailed information about educational programs, scholarships, mobility of international students at the universities of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, see Annex: