The FINANCIAL -- With over 2.5-3 million GEL Bank of Georgia has established Bank of Georgia University, which will be accepting its first 50 students in its Master’s programme in September of the current academic year.
Some of the other Georgian universities have voiced concerns that upon graduating from this particular institution, graduates will have lower chances of getting hired by any other bank. Meanwhile the Dean of ESM as well as independent HR experts disagree with this view. “Sufficiently qualified graduates are always welcomed by any organization,” they said.
“Around 3 million GEL was invested in establishing Bank of Georgia University. An additional GEL 2 million will be issued annually to cover the costs of providing grants for students, recruiting professors, inviting foreign professors and developing libraries. Education is the number one priority for our citizens’ future success. We want to make education available to more people and enhance its quality,” Irakli Gilauri, CEO at Bank of Georgia, told The FINANCIAL.
Gilauri estimated the education level in Georgia to be satisfactory. “However, with the opening of our university it will be even further improved. There are some fields which can be taught better by our team. We would not enter into an area, such as for example microbiology, in which we were not qualified. We can give better education in finance and management than our competitors,” he said.
Representatives of Caucasus University and Georgian University do not welcome having another competitor. As Kakha Shengelia, President of Caucasus University, said, graduates of Bank of Georgia University will have lower chances of being hired by other banks. Contrary to the above-mentioned universities, Free University, as well as independent experts, see no grounds for this statement.
“In my view, the Bank will firstly be focused on hiring graduates in its holding. I do not think that there is such unhealthy competition between the banks that HR managers will avoid hiring a graduate of this university however. Any employing body is targeting highly skilled people. If Bank of Georgia University produces qualified graduates no organization is going to block them,” said Nino Aladashvili, Dean of Business School (ESM) at Free University.
“I welcome the opening of this university. I think they will manage to develop good professionals, considering their resources and practical experience. The interests of other banks and universities should also be taken into account. If Bank of Georgia University will correctly run the educational process and maintain neutrality while educating future professionals, then they will succeed,” said Eka Machavariani, HR expert.
Bank of Georgia University will first open its doors to MBA students from September 2014. At that time 50 students will be accepted for a two-year MBA programme. The first 10 students will get 100% financing, the following 20 students - a 0%, seven year term student loan.
“A flexible tuition programme, the possibility for students to both study and work, a practical programme and highly skilled professors are the main advantages that Bank of Georgia University has to offer. We will combine professors that have good theoretical and practical experience and are successfully operating on the Georgian and international markets. The top managers of leading companies will be involved in our educational process, twice per month we will invite speakers to give talks. The financing scheme is another of its core advantages,” said Akaki Kheladze, Rector of Bank of Georgia University.
The management of Bank of Georgia University is currently in negotiations with foreign universities over offering exchange programmes.
“The effectiveness of graduates in Georgia is low. We have had many examples of students graduating simply to get a diploma. Our goal is to advance the quality of education in the country. Our goal is to teach students skills that will prove invaluable to them in the rest of their lives,” Kheladze told The FINANCIAL.