The FINANCIAL -- Caucasus University (CU), Georgian-American University (GAU) and Economic school of management- Tbilisi (ESM-Tbilisi), - these three universities in Georgia are the members of the Global Compact, an initiative first announced by United Nations in order to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on them.
Kakha Shengelia, the President of CU answered the questions by the FINANCIAL regarding the necessity of CSR education for the country’s economic development and the expected feedback.
“CSR Education at CU will Become one of the Strategically Important Studying Topic,”
Q. You’re the member of the Global Compact in Georgia. Could you please describe more precisely when did CU become the part of the compact?
A: Since CU has the links with UNDP, and had conducted some workshops with this organization, they offered CU the idea of becoming the member of Global Compact. CU prepared all the document and approximately a year ago received the positive answer from Global Compact and therefore became the part of Global Compact family.
Q. According to the Forbes June 2007 publication, The world's business schools should be more proactive in promoting corporate social responsibility in their teaching programs, according to the United Nations Global Compact initiative. What does CSR education at CU include?
A: At the present moment we don’t have the CSR as a separate subject, however the CSR topics are included in the different subjects dealing with the issues of CSR. The lecturers of this subject are mainly the people with western degree in the field of business, who are currently working in the leading Georgian and International companies.
At the current moment CU actively works at the curriculum which regards CSR practices implementation in our University. So, all the topics which will cover the CSR policies and which are important for the students will be included in the curriculum.
Q. What’s CSR vision of CU in terms of its own staff treatment? How many people are employed at CU? How well-paid are your employs?
A: CU ‘s staff is growing consistently , as with the development of organization we need more and more staff. Currently we have 75 staff members and around 200 lecturers. CU matches the salaries in accordance with the market salaries in the industry according to inflation rate.
Besides, CU provides its staff with a number of fringe benefits, such as health insurance, pension fund, corporate mobile phones etc. Also CU’s management tries to improve the corporate culture and to stimulate the friendship of employees through corporate parties, travel tours to different destinations etc. As CU’s main objective is to create a big CU family, where each employee will feel him/herself as a very important family member.
Q. Your partners include the prominent universities abroad. Do share the experience of your international partners in terms of CSR? (Holding joint conferences, bringing lecturers, literature?)
A. Of course, as we have a number of partners almost in all parts of the world, we share our experience in this field and try to take into account their best practices in terms of CSR.
Q. More and more global companies start running businesses in Georgia. CSR is still a new direction for the local market; hence there might be the lack of qualified professionals with CSR background. How often are CU graduates employed at international organizations?
A: As CU provides its students with the western studying materials, and a lot of lecturers from our partners Universities give the lectures to them, our students understand pretty well the importance of CSR and know how to implement this knowledge to their working places. A great number of our students and graduates are working in the international organizational and they do not need a great effort in order to be adapted there.
Q. How do you see CSR education at CU in future?
A: The CSR education in CU will play a more important role in the curriculums and will become one of the strategically important studying topic. We hope that the demand of knowledge and understanding of CSR will grow at the Georgian market, so the students will have more stimulus to study its techniques.