International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University

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International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University
Established 2006
Type Graduate school
Director Eric Livny
Senior Academic Advisor Motty Perry
Academic staff
Students 85
Location Tbilisi, Georgia
Nickname ISET

The International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) is a graduate school of economics in Tbilisi, Georgia and an autonomous part of Tbilisi State University. The school was established in 2006 after the former Georgian prime minister Zurab Zhvania sent a letter to the World Bank requesting help in "creating our own capability to train young economists in modern economics as it is taught all over the world".[1] ISET is supported by the government of Georgia, BP, CERGE-EI Foundation (Czech Republic), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Open Society Institute, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the World Bank, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan and the Central Bank of Armenia.[2]

ISET offers a two-year master's program in economics, modeled after similar programs in Moscow and Kiev. As the only graduate school of economics in the Caucasus it admits students from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The program adheres to international academic standards with English language instruction provided by its visiting and resident international Ph.D. faculty.

Of 213 ISET graduates to date, more than one third currently occupy analytical positions with economic policy agencies in all three countries of the South Caucasus region. About 10% continue their education and 32 ISET's graduates now pursue Ph.D. studies at top international universities (such as Stanford University, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. Louis, CERGE-EI in Prague, or the University of Chicago).

The ISET Policy Institute (ISET-PI) was established in May 2011 to complement the educational mission of ISET. ISET-PI provides independent policy research and training, and reaches out to the broader academic, policy and business communities in the South Caucasus. It is one of the first university-based think-tanks in the region, supported from inception by the Open Society Institute’s Think Tank Fund. ISET-PI is also a member of the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE) network. ISET-PI has developed a valuable research portfolio, including the regionally famous Khachapuri Index project, which tracks inflation and the difference in cost of living across Georgia by using the ingredients and energy inputs needed to make one Georgian Imeretian khachapuri. ISET-PI has also developed a Consumer Confidence Index Project as a means of gauging how a random sampling of Georgian consumers feel both about the overall state of the Georgian economy and their personal financial situation. In addition, ISET-PI runs a range of training and professional development programs.


  1. ^ "Inflation beware! Tbilisi economic school graduates first class". The Messenger. 2008-07-09. Retrieved 4 April 2010. 
  2. ^ Kikacheishvili, Tamar (2008-06-27). "ISET issues the first graduates". Georgian Daily. Retrieved 4 April 2010. 

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