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The Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, Mikheil Chkhenkeli participated in an online meeting of the Advisory Board of San Diego State University and addressed the attending audience. The Minister spoke about the importance of fruitful cooperation with international partners and thanked the President of San Diego University and the Vice President of the Millennium Challenge Corporation for their contribution to improving the quality of higher education in Georgia.
Mikheil Chkhenkeli: "The United States is Georgia's main strategic partner. More recently, the visit of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has further strengthened the existing strategic bond between our countries. A solid demonstration of our mutually beneficial collaboration is witnessed by the implementation of several significant projects to promote the development of education and science in Georgia, encompassing the Millennium Challenge Corporation Second Compact Agreement and the introduction of San Diego State University International Accreditation Programs.
As a result of a partnership between the Government of Georgia and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, this year, for the first time in the entire region, two Tbilisi State University undergraduate programs have been accredited by the American Engineering and Technology Accreditation Board (ABET) - a major achievement for the Georgian academia. At the same time, Ilia State University and Georgian Technical University continue to implement the strategy developed according to the ABET accreditation standards and we hope that they will be able to admit students to internationally accredited programs promptly."
Furthermore, the Minister noted that San Diego State University-Georgia academic programs are particularly popular amongst the entrants, boasting successful graduates - 61% of whom are already employed, whereas 39% are already pursuing a master’s degree abroad.
The meeting of the Advisory Board was also attended by San Diego State University President, Adela de la Torre and its Provost Salvador Hector Ochoa, Vice President of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Jonathan Brooks, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Catherine Schweitzer, Director of Millennium Challenge Account Georgia, Magda Maghradze, the Dean of San Diego State University – Georgia branch, Halil Guven, and provosts of SDSU partner universities: Giorgi Sharvashidze of Tbilisi State University, Giga Zedania of Ilia State University and David Gurgenidze of Georgina Technical University.
The Board members summarized the results and activities of San Diego State University-Georgia, discussed the implementation of internationally accredited undergraduate programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), in conjunction with exploring ways to enhance the existing cooperation with the private sector, as well as student employment prospects.
The Georgian branch of San Diego State University has been implementing American Bachelor of Arts in Technology and Engineering since 2015 with funding from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Second Compact. Within the scope of cooperation with SDSU, three partner higher education institutions of Georgia: Tbilisi State University, Ilia State University, and Georgian Technical University, have the opportunity to gain accreditation and implement internationally recognized programs in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
It is noteworthy that Tbilisi State University became the first university in the history of ABET that received the American accreditation for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degrees from the very first time.