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Georgia: KIU aims to become new tech hub

Georgia’s first post-independence university Kutaisi International University is opening its doors this month to its first cohort of students, with stakeholders hopeful it will offer new opportunities for tech and innovation in Georgia while also embracing internationalisation.

KutaisiKIU is Georgia's first post-independence university. Photo: KIU

13,000 international students studied in Georgia in 2019-2020

Launched in partnership with the Technical University of Munich and financed to the tune of €1 billion by the Cartu Foundation run by Georgian billionaire and former prime minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, KIU is located in the city of Kutaisi, roughly 200 kilometres west of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.

“The guiding concept of KIU is the interlinkage of local and international talent to make Kutaisi a stronghold of Georgian science and entrepreneurship to the benefit of the country and its economic future,” said Wolfgang A Hermann, former TUM president and the first Honorary president of KIU.

“The alliance with TUM should open new horizons particularly in science and engineering”

“The alliance with TUM should open new horizons, particularly in science and engineering to create new industries in the Caucasus area.

“KIU will seek to gain visibility where science, engineering and humanities meet,” he added.

TUM helped to develop KUI’s operational model and course content and eight German professors from TUM will be joining the staff this year, with classes being offered in English.

The university has also been working with the British Council and will be participating in international exchange programs such as those offered by Erasmus+, Fulbright and DAAD.

While international recruitment has been somewhat impeded due to the pandemic, the university said that “an international recruitment program is getting underway”, with plans to “actively recruit students from all the countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as Europe, the US, India, Pakistan and Africa”.

Over 13,000 international students studied in Georgia in 2019-2020, according to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, with about two-thirds studying at private institutes.

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