Georgia Allocates GEL 4 Mln to Finance University Students Living near Occupation Line

The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia announced on January 9 that it has allocated GEL 4 million (USD 1.4 mln) to finance Higher Education studies of over 1,600 students that are native to villages along the line of Russian occupation for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The government has been financing BA and MA students living in the Tbilisi-administered villages adjacent to the dividing line with Georgia’s occupied regions of Tskhinvali and Abkhazia since 2013.

The Ministry of Education said that the state funding has been allocated to the students living in the villages of the following municipalities: Gori, Kaspi, Kareli, Khashuri, Dusheti, Oni, Sachkhere, Tsalenjikha and Zugdidi. Each student receives state funding for tuition fee at GEL 2,250 (approximately USD 785) per year.

The Education Ministry noted that number of students receiving state funding has been increasing on a yearly basis and that during past seven years the government has financed the studies of over 7,000 students, allocating over GEL 15 million of budgetary funds for this purpose.

In April 2018, the government launched a new university preparations program for high school graduates from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions to ease their enrollment at universities in the Tbilisi-controlled territory. The new program was elaborated within Tbilisi’s earlier-announced peace plan – A Step to A Better Future.

As part of the new program, aspiring students from the occupied regions go through year-long preparations course for university admissions. They are based at Tbilisi State University and Zugdidi State University.

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