Rectors and representatives of over 30 higher educational institutions accredited in Georgia participated in the second session of the Permanent Conference of Rectors that has opened at Shota Rustaveli Batumi State University. Heads of higher educational institutions accredited in Georgia will discuss the issues related to university freedom and academic freedom, defining universities’ legal status and inter-university communication. They will adopt a decision on accession of the Permanent Conference of Rectors to the European University Association.
“The Permanent Conference of Rectors is an excellent format for discussing the issues related to the sphere of higher education. A lot of issues have been put on the agenda, among others defining the legal status of universities, amendments to the law that we plan to initiate, student status and so on,” Rector of TSU, George Sharvashidze said.
“During the next session of the Permanent Conference of Rectors, we will be discussing a lot of problems accumulated in education system. We will have a uniform approach with the Parliament and the Education Ministry towards these problems. Our relations with the European University Association is also very important. The more Georgian universities become the members of this Association, the more Georgian state will proceed in Europe,” Rector of Caucasus University, Kakha Shengelia said.
The Permanent Conference of Rectors was founded in July 2019 and it shares the fundamental principles of the Magna Charta of the European Universities (Magna Charta Universitatum), such as ensuring academic freedom, autonomy for universities, sharing European and national humanist traditions, integration of teaching and research, etc. It is a platform, where the rectors discuss the challenges facing higher education, talk about the issues related to financing of higher educational institutions and coordinate their positions on education reforms.
“The Permanent Conference of Rectors has been working on a number of important issues, such as the university autonomy, legal status and academic freedom. We will discuss these issues and adopt a decision in a form of a project that will be sent to relevant structures,” Rector of Batumi State University, Merab Khalvashi said.
Rector of Tbilisi State University, George Sharvashidze was re-elected as the Chairman of the Permanent Conference of Rectors for a second term.
Similar associations of rectors already exist in many European countries.