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The Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, Mikheil Chkhenkeli opened the online conference of the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement - "Development of Education Quality Assurance System: Achievements and Challenges". In his speech, the Minister spoke about the results already achieved and future plans in terms of quality improvement in all areas of education and stressed the importance of the involvement of international organizations in this process.
Mikheil Chkhenkeli: “First of all, thank you for participating in the conference. I would like to welcome the Director of ENQA Secretariat, Ms. Maria Kelo, and the President of WFME, Mr. David Gordon. Your involvement in the development of the education quality assurance system is of particular importance.
The reform of the higher education system and quality assurance, which has been underway for the last few years, has brought Georgia's higher education quality assurance system even closer to European standards. A good example of this is the membership of National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement in the European Association of Quality Assurance Agencies (ENQA), gaining recognition by the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME) and registration in the European Register of Quality Assurance Agencies (EQAR).
The Minister noted that several important innovations in the development of quality assurance in higher education will be introduced in the future. Among them, a cluster accreditation model will be launched, which will help universities save human resources, time, and costs, will facilitate the introduction of a new qualifications framework and classifier in higher education institutions. In addition, additional quality assurance requirements will be developed to evaluate doctoral degree programs, which will significantly increase the quality of doctoral programs in the country.
Moreover, Mikheil Chkhenkeli emphasized the importance of international cooperation in improving the quality of higher education and noted that the degree of internationalization of the Georgian higher education system will increase in the future. Quantity.
Additionally, the Minister highlighted the support of higher education institutions by the Ministry during the pandemic and noted that, despite the challenges, Georgia was able to manage and administer the processes during challenging times. This applies to the educational process, as well as the issue of university authorization and program accreditation.
Furthermore, Minister Chkhenkeli spoke about vocational education. According to him, the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement has played a key role in the implementation of vocational education reform. As a result, the quality assurance system of vocational education has been conceptually changed, based on the best European experience, fully adapted to the specifics of vocational education, and focused on teacher development. Mikheil Chkhenkeli also noted that in recent years, the range of short-term training courses, as well as full qualification programs has increased and the number of places of study has almost doubled. In addition, the system first offered the public an alternative way of receiving general education in the form of integrated vocational programs.
As for general education, the Minister stressed that the current year will be a year of turning points in the quality assurance of general education. According to him, a new national curriculum is being actively introduced, which will provide a student-centered, quality educational environment.
The conference "Development of Education Quality Assurance System: Achievements and Challenges" is held remotely and will last for three days. The first day will be entirely devoted to quality assurance issues in higher education, the second day will focus on both general education and higher education quality assurance issues, and the third day will focus entirely on quality assurance issues in vocational education.
The conference was attended by Shalva Papuashvili - First Deputy Chairman of the Education, Science and Culture Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, Nunu Mitskevichi - Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Georgia, Director of the National Center for Education Quality Development (ENQA) Secretariat - Maria Kelo, President of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) - David Gordon, Director of the Estonian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher and Vocational Education - Heli Matisen, Head of the Department of Education and Training of the Flemish Region of Belgium - Magali Sohenen, Head of the European Student Union Vice President - Jakub Grodesky. Also, representatives of other partner local and international organizations, members of accreditation, accreditation, appeals boards, students, employers, and other stakeholders.