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The Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Mikheil Chkhenkeli, paid a working visit to the Swiss Confederation. Within the framework of the visit, the minister held a meeting with the rector of Bern University, Professor Christian Leumann. The parties discussed issues of future cooperation between Bern University and higher educational institutions of Georgia.
Mikheil Chkhenkeli emphasized the importance of the presence of the Georgian studies program at the University of Bern, which is a joint project of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, the Embassy of Georgia in the Swiss Confederation, and the universities of Bern and Fribourg. According to the minister, he is proud that the university with century-old traditions implements programs about the history and rich culture of Georgia. Mikheil Chkhenkeli stressed, that the strengthening of the teaching of the Georgian language within the framework of the Kartvelian studies program.
During the meeting, Mikheil Chkhenkeli introduced the main mega-project of the Georgian education system – Kutaisi International University to the rector of Bern University. The minister emphasized that the entire idea and the concept of the university belongs to Mr. Bidzina Ivanishvili. It was as a result of his and his family's extremely important contribution that a world-class academic and scientific-research space emerged in the country.
According to Mikheil Chkhenkeli, the high standard and degree of internationalization of the university is determined by the approach that provides for the creation of academic programs in a specific field in cooperation with the world's leading universities. The minister also noted that the programs currently operating at the university, are analogous to those of the Technical University of Munich. According to him, the cooperation with the world's leading universities will be actively continued and new academic programs for all three levels of education will gradually appear in Kutaisi International University.
Moreover, as the minister stated, Kutaisi International University, which became operational in 2020, has been soaring in popularity, which is an indication that its development is taking place with the right strategy. Based on the results of the unified national exams of 2022, according to the average competitive score, Kutaisi International University is the first choice for students in the country.
During the meeting with the rector of the University of Bern, Mikheil Chkhenkeli also mentioned that with the funding of the "Kartu" foundation, a Hadron therapy centre is being built on the premises of KIU. This is a space, where international scientific circles will be involved in the process of conducting research in oncology and proton therapy. The ultra-modern cyclotrons of the centre have already been installed by the world's leading manufacturer of proton therapy equipment for cancer diseases – IBA. One cyclotron will be entirely intended for scientific research in medical and nuclear physics, whereas the second one will be used for cancer treatment. There is a growing interest from the international scientific community, who express their desire to participate in the research process together with Georgian scientists.
The Rector of Bern University, Professor Christian Leumann, positively evaluated the ongoing mega-project in the Georgian education system and expressed his readiness to cooperate with Kutaisi International University and the Hadron Therapy Center.
Revaz Lominadze, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Georgia to the Confederation of Switzerland, also attended the meeting.