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Students protest revocation of university’s accreditation

By Keti Arjevanidze
Thursday, March 14
Students held a protest rally at the Ministry of Education and Science on March 13 due to the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement council’s decision to revoke Agrarian University’s accreditation.

However, they were not the only students protesting in front of the ministry. Students of other universities also expressed their solidarity with Agrarian University.

Technical University students think that the council’s judgment was politically motivated and harmed the students. They say it is not only Agrarian University’s problem– in the future even they may face a similar case.

Free University students also demanded the restoration of justice.

Minister of Education and Science Giorgi Margvelashvili offered to meet with the students’ initiative group and discuss the issue. “As soon as the corrections are made in the charter which the council regards as a violation, I personally will monitor the accreditation process and guarantee that in a short period of time, accreditation will be granted,” the minister promised.

Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili also commented on the issue. He said it is necessary to draw a line between the political and legal sides of the issue.

Tbilisi City Mayor Gigi Ugulava thinks it is incomprehensible to suspend Agrarian University’s accreditation status.

Transparency International Georgia released a statement appealing to the authorization council to guarantee maximal transparency of the process in order not to regard their decision as being politically motivated. The announcement also reads that while discussing the restoration of Agrarian University’s accreditation, the students’ interests should be considered as well.

“Ministry of Education is responsible for ensuring that the studying process continues without any obstacles,” reads the statement. The organization is going to continue monitoring the process.

The Georgian Farmers Association also commented on the recent developments surrounding Agrarian University. According to them, the council’s decision hampers the agricultural sector’s development and de-motivates students who want to work in the field of agriculture. The Georgian Farmers Association appealed to the Ministry of Education to find a constructive way to solve the problem soon and also called upon the Ministry of Agriculture to get involved in the process.

The National Center for the Educational Quality Enhancement Council Head, Kakhi Kurashvili, explained that the council’s decision to suspend the university’s accreditation will enter into force at the end of the academic year, so that the students can continue studying without obstacles. He said, otherwise, the university can also apply to the courts.