Bidzina Ivanishvili to Invest 1 Billion Euros in Construction of Kutaisi International University

On September 18, “Cartu Foundation” (Cartu Fund) and Kutaisi International University held a presentation of the new educational space at the Sheraton Grand Metekhi Palace hotel.

This is one of the most important and largest-scale projects in the modern history of Georgia in the field of education, as, following the restoration of the country’s independence, for the first time, a new state university is being founded.

The presentation was attended by President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili, donor to the Cartu Fund Bidzina Ivanishvili, Founder of the Kutaisi International University and Cartu Fund Chairman Nikoloz Chkhetiani, the Advisor to the Prime Minister for Education Issues Mikheil Chkhenkeli, the Principal of the Kutaisi International University, Professor Aleksandre Tevzadze, President of the Technical University of Munich, Professor Dr. Wolfgang Hermann, Director of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine of the Jülich Research Center, Professor Dr. Bernd Neumaier, Executive Vice President of IBA Group, Serge Lamisse, and the representatives of legislative authorities, international organizations and diplomatic corps, educational circles and the public.

As announced during the event, phase one of development will see the construction of buildings with a total area of 170,000 square meters. This includes three academic buildings, three student dormitories, a residential building for faculty members, a central library, and a dining hall. Two additional academic buildings, a Hadron Therapy Center, a university clinic, laboratories, and other scientific research facilities will be constructed during the next stages of development.

The honorary President of the Kutaisi University will be prominent scientist and President of the Technical University of Munich, Professor Dr. Wolfgang Hermann.

“This day marks the beginning of new academic relations between Georgia and Germany. I am proud to be here today and contribute to the establishment of a new university, Kutaisi International University. I would like to emphasize that the university must be international as well as interdisciplinary, in order to be attractive to young people throughout the world, especially to the youth of this region,” he stated.

Bidzina Ivanishvili, the Former Prime Minister and the Founder of the Georgian Dream party, who is the only donor to the Cartu Foundation, will invest 1 billion Euros in the construction of Kutaisi University.

“According to the decision of Bidzina Ivanishvili, a total of one billion Euros will be allocated for the Kutaisi International University project. This is an unprecedented amount of investment in education, which has never happened in Georgia before,” said the Principal of the Kutaisi International University, adding that the University will be an educational space equipped with modern infrastructure and technologies, which will ensure accessibility to high quality higher education for Georgian and foreign students in the country.

In turn, Ivanishvili spoke about the ongoing construction of Kutaisi International University. He is the author of the idea to grant Kutaisi the function of a university city, having voiced his opinion on the technical institute and medical research center project in 2012, at meetings with the public.

“In 2012, I promised Georgian society that we would construct the University in Kutaisi and that we would bring back the educational function of the city. Today, we all see that the first phase of the construction is being completed, and the educational space will be ready to receive the first wave of students in September 2020. Of course, this is important, but today we need not just yet another university, but one where the quality of education is in accordance with international standards and one that is recognized internationally. That is why, together with the best specialists in this field, we have been actively working for several years and have achieved significant results,” he stated.

“I would also like to emphasize that Cartu Fund will remain a private sponsor and not the owner of the university complex. It will not be someone’s property, but will be a state university and the property of the entire country," he noted, adding that Kutaisi University complex includes an international research technology center of EU standards and international health center, which today have no analogs in Georgia.

He concluded that Kutaisi International University will be “our country's guide in the era of technological explosion."

‘’This is an unprecedented fact of philanthropy that has never been observed in the history of Georgia, and I think it is one of the most prominent examples in the world. Construction is underway. In 2020 we will receive the first wave of students, however, after that the development will continue. The university will expand and new educational programs will be added. This is a ‘business card’ not only for our foundation, but for the whole country,” said the Cartu Fund Chairman.

As part of the presentation, a memorandum of collaboration was signed between the Kutaisi International University and the Jülich Research Center (Germany), one of the largest interdisciplinary research centers in Europe, within the framework of which the sides will implement mutual goals for the development of the education field.

After the signing ceremony, the Panel Discussions “Educational and Scientific Research Collaboration” and “Hadron Therapy Center” were also held.

The Advisor of Prime Minister for education issues stated during the presentation that the new educational space will be ready to receive the first wave of students on 1st September 2020, adding that youth will have the opportunity to select educational programs in mathematics, computer science, and management.

Kutaisi International University will employ Georgian and foreign academic personnel. It is expected to become the international hub of science and technology in the region.

“It will be a leading provider of scientific and educational services for the entire Caucasus region and a vital component in the positioning of Georgia in the international educational arena,” the presenters noted during the event.

It is also noteworthy that the university’s management system, educational directions, and regulations governing the selection of researchers and lecturers will correspond to the management system of the Technical University of Munich, with which Kutaisi International University has been cooperating since 2017.

Moreover, Kutaisi International University is cooperating with leading educational and scientific centers in the field of science.

The Kutaisi International University project was officially presented on 8 September 2016. The construction of Kutaisi International University is the biggest and largest-scale construction project in Georgia.

By Ana Dumbadze

19 September 2019 16:52