No New Students for International Black Sea University This Year

Tbilisi’s International Black Sea University (IBSU) has been slapped with a punishment from the Authorization Council for General Educational Institutions. IBSU is prohibited from accepting new students for one year, in response to debts the institution owes to the Government of Georgia.

The Authorization Council makes decision on the authorization of general educational institutions and is comprised of a board of members appointed by the Prime Minister of Georgia.

Tamar Sanikidze, Head of the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement, announced the decision on Tuesday, saying, “I think the Council has done its utmost come up with a legal decision. The university was given authorization despite the difficult situation it is currently in. IBSU has an ongoing dispute with the government in regard to an amount exceeding 700,000 GEL [in back taxes] that they owe to the state budget...This is why their activities, as well as those of their shareholders, are under seizure now.”

Sanikidze assured the current IBSU students that their education will not be interrupted or affected. Students who had been accepted as the class of 2022, however, will not be able to enroll and will instead be given slots at other universities.

IBSU’s administration argues that the Authorization Council’s decision is illegal, and that the university is in line with all criteria for authorization and accreditation.

The Head of the Quality Enhancement Department at IBSU, Diana Mchedlishvili, added that the sum in question is not related to the university’s academic programming and has been in dispute since 2013.

IBSU Administration posted a statement on their website in response to the Authorization Council’s decision:

“The authorization board has unlawfully denied the International Black Sea University the right to receive a new contingent of students for a one year period...

By the decision of the Authorization Board of Higher Educational Institutions on 20 August 2018, the International Black Sea University was granted authorization for six years. At the same time, the Board made a totally illogical and incompatible decision that contradicts the experts’ conclusion; it ignores the positive conclusion of experts and the University is forced to stop accepting a new contingent of students until August 20, 2019. As a result, up to 800 students' choices to study at the International Black Sea University have been ignored and the Board has compelled them to apply to other higher educational institutions. The decision constitutes a threat to students’ legal preferences during two academic years...

The irresponsible decision of the authorization board hinders the development of one of the leading and internationally recognized universities in Georgia...We apply to NGOs and international organizations, diplomatic corps and the whole civil society to support the International Black Sea University in its fight against injustice. We refer to the Government of Georgia to take appropriate measures in order to prevent the damaging of the country’s international reputation, democratic values, freedom of entrepreneurial activity and to protect the educational sphere from unhealthy influences.”


By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: International Black Sea University

22 August 2018 13:19