Free University of Tbilisi
Seal of the Free University of Tbilisi
|Motto||Scientia, Labor, Libertas (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Science, Labour, Liberty|
|Campus||Kakha Bendukidze University Campus, David Aghmashenebeli Alley № 240|
|Director of the Knowledge Fund||Anastasia Bendukidze-Goncharova|
The Free University of Tbilisi is a private university established in 2007 via the merge of ESM Tbilisi and the Tbilisi Institute of Asia and Africa. The main goal of Kakha Bendukidze, FreeUni's founder, was providing opportunities for a quality education for every motivated adult, regardless of financial conditions, believing that clarity of purpose and the future were essential to any human endeavour.
The Free University is organized into 7 constituent schools: the Institute of Asia and Africa (International Relations), Business, Law, Physics, Computer Sciences and Maths, Visual Arts and Design, Governance and Social Sciences. While the Free University is governed by a combination of its Board of Overseers and the Knowledge Foundation, each school's faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus shared with Agricultural University of Georgia in downtown Tbilisi, the University owns facilities all around Georgia, including Anaseuli Education Center.
The current Rector of The Free University is Prof. Guram Chikovani. There are 56 full-time and 84 part-time lecturers. 44 hold PhDs; 25 are PhD students. The programs are run on a daily basis by deans and academic coordinators.
The Free University was founded by Kakha Bendukidze (Georgian: კახა ბენდუქიძე; 20 April 1956 – 13 November 2014), Georgian statesman, businessman and philanthropist. The main aim of Kakha Bendukidze was providing opportunities for a quality education for every motivated adult, regardless of financial conditions, was the goal of Kakha Bendukidze. He made unprecedented investments in education in Georgia. Since the foundation of the Knowledge Foundation and head of the united supervisory board of Agricultural and Free Universities.
A biologist by education, Bendukidze started his own business, Bioprocess, which manufactured biochemicals for scientific research in 1987. Soon he became known as one of Russia’s leading libertarians. He led a working group on tax and currency within the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and pressed for changes in tax policy, which ultimately included adoption of a flat 13 percent tax rate. In Russia, he was a strong opponent of government intervention in the economy, a view that put him at odds with President Vladimir Putin. Soon Bendukidze sold his stake and moved back to Georgia.
After the Rose Revolution, shortly after returning from Russia, he was appointed as Minister of Economy by former President Mikheil Saakashvili and the late Prime Minister Zurab Jvania in 2004. He served as Georgian Minister of Economy (June–December 2004), Minister for Reform Coordination (December 2004 – January 2008) and Head of the Chancellery of Government of Georgia (February 2008 – February 2009) and was the author of liberal reforms that overhauled Georgia’s post-Soviet economy.
The appointment of Bendukidze and his service as the Minister of Economics gave Georgia a yearly 9.3% economic growth in 2004–2007 and almost four times more foreign investments. The government managed to decrease the taxes fourfold, the number of licenses by 90% and liberalize the labour market. These liberal steps were what lead to the formation of the previously almost non-existent middle class.
The program in International Relations began as the Institute of Asia and Africa in 1991 and retains a special emphasis on cultures. In the past, that has meant extensive offerings on the cultures and languages of the Near, Middle East, and Far East. Now the program also offers European and the US studies.
The program in international relations prepares students for careers in diplomacy, foreign policy, defence, national security, international organizations, international business, and education. Apart from the broad range of courses in international diplomacy, political theory, law, and economics. The curriculum provides knowledge in literature, culture, religion and history with a choice of specialization in one language.
The Business School began as the independent European School of Management and for more than 20 years has been the leader of business education in Georgia. The program includes a rich variety of courses at both undergraduate and graduate (MA) levels, such as: management, marketing, accounting and finance, business studies, operations management, business in action, etc. The principal defining feature of the program is teaching business in action. This ensures breadth and generality and encourages flexibility, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
The Computer Science and Mathematics (MACS) program offers a bachelor's degree with two concentrations, one in mathematics and the other on computer science. Students choose one of the concentrations to better focus their education in that particular direction. The MACS program has the best students in Georgia according to their performance on the Georgian Unified National Examinations. For example, the top seven scorers on the 2014 Exam are currently enrolled in the MACS program.
The undergraduate program in Governance and Social Sciences offers liberal arts education covering the social sciences and humanities. Students gain knowledge in the fields of philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychology, history, art, and literature. A top priority is to encourage independent thought and critical analysis. Students work closely with classic texts and engage in heated discussions and debates. Additionally, students take courses in business, economy, law, and project management to further prepare them for career development and future leadership in government, commercial and non-government organizations, and the media.
The four-year undergraduate program in Physics provides a solid foundation leading to a B.S. degree in Physics. The program exposes students to both traditional and cutting-edge areas of physics: astrophysics and general relativity, condensed-matter physics, and particle physics. The degree provides a sound basis either for entering graduate school or for pursuing a variety of careers in various sectors.
- "'About Us' of The Free University of Tbilisi". The Free University of Tbilisi. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "Faculty page of The Free University of Tbilisi". The Free University of Tbilisi. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- University Today
- Herszenhorn, David M. "Kakha Bendukidze Dies at 58; Pushed Post-Soviet Market Change". nytimes.com. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
- "Famous Reformist Kakha Bendukidze Dies at 58". tabula.ge. Tabula, 2009–2014.
- "Obituaries". washingtonpost.com. The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
- "'International Relations' of The Free University of Tbilisi". The Free University of Tbilisi. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "'ESM' of The Free University of Tbilisi". The Free University of Tbilisi. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "'Mathematics and Computer Sciences' of The Free University of Tbilisi". The Free University of Tbilisi. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "'Governance and Social Sciences' of The Free University of Tbilisi". The Free University of Tbilisi. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- "'Physics' of The Free University of Tbilisi". The Free University of Tbilisi. Retrieved 15 January 2015.