146 school graduates from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia enrolled at universities in the Tbilisi-controlled territory in 2018, according to the regions’ exiled administrations.
138 students are from Gali district in Abkhazia, and the remaining eight are from Akhalgori district in Tskhinvali. Gali and Akhalgori are predominantly populated by ethnic Georgians.
According to the Ministry of Education of the Abkhazian government-in-exile, this year, 260 school graduates from Gali took part in the national exams, general examinations for university admissions. In 2017, 250 graduates went through the exams and 120 were enrolled.
According to the Educational Department at the Tbilisi-based Provisional Administration of South Ossetia, there were a total of 21 schools graduates from Akhalgori district in 2018. Last year, 18 graduated and five got admitted.
Students from the two regions are eligible to receive the tuition funding. The program, launched by the Government of Georgia in 2010, covers the students’ four-year tuition fees – GEL 2,250 annually (regular tuition fee at state-funded universities).
Last year, 116 students from Gali district and 5 students from Akhalgori district were funded through this program. Decision on this year’s funding is still pending.
The funding scheme is also available for students who studied in areas that were under the control of the central government before the 2008 Russo-Georgian war – Tigva, Eredvi, Kurta and Perevi communities in Tskhinvali Region, and Azhara community in Abkhazia. Residents of these areas were forced to flee after the 2008 Russo-Georgian war.
- Gali is home to some 40,000 ethnic Georgians, who make up almost all of the district’s population;
- Akhalgori is home to approximately 2,500 ethnic Georgians, who make up 55.5% of the district population.