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The Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, Mikheil Chkhenkeli hosted the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy to Georgia, Enrico Valvo and discussed the prospect of enhancing the existing cooperation between Georgia and Italy.
During the meeting, the parties shared the experience of their countries in ensuring a continuous education process in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Minister informed the Ambassador about the current situation in general education institutions of Georgia and noted that from February 15 the educational process will return to classrooms throughout the country.
Mikheil Chkhenkeli thanked Enrico Valvo for all the joint projects implemented by the Italian side at all levels of education. The unique project of Kutaisi International University and its future development prospects were also discussed at the meeting. The Minister emphasized that the author of the idea and entire concept of the university belongs to Mr. Bidzina Ivanishvili. As a result of his and his family's extremely important contribution, a world-wide academic and scientific-research space emerged in the country.
Moreover, Mikheil Chkhenkeli spoke about the academic programs of Kutaisi International University, which are analogous to the University of Munich. This approach will be maintained and in the future academic programs will be created for all three levels of education in collaboration with the world’s leading universities. The Minister noted that negotiations in this direction have begun with the Polytechnic University of Milan. Mikheil Chkhenkeli also welcomes the implementation of joint programs with other leading Italian universities and the involvement of Italian professors in the academic and research process of Kutaisi International University. For his part, Enrico Valvo expressed readiness to cooperate with Kutaisi International University.
Furthermore, Mikheil Chkhenkeli noted that, Roberto Orecchia, who is the Scientific Director of the European Institute of Oncology in Italy holds a special place at KIU and is currently a member of the University Supervisory Board. He will be actively involved in the research process of the University Center for Hadron Therapy, resulting in an important international collaboration in the field of oncology and proton therapy. The world's leading scientists are ready to engage in scientific research together with Georgian specialists. This process will begin as soon as the ultramodern cyclotrons are created. They are currently manufactured and assembled by the world's leading manufacturer of cancer proton therapy equipment (IBA). As a result, Kutaisi International University will be established as a research hub in the region.
The parties also talked about strengthening the teaching of Italian in Georgian public schools and promoting the professional development of teachers.