The Foundation “Center for International Organization” (here and after CIE) is an independent, non- governmental educational organization, established in 2006 as a spin off of the Open Society – Georgia Foundation.
In operation for more than a decade, CIE has developed into one of the premiere student advising centers in Georgia, well-known for its competency in education exchange, recruitment for scholarship programs, advising services and consultancy to higher educational institutions in the respective fields. The main mission of the Center is to support internationalization of Higher Education in Georgia through student academic advising and policy dialogue. CIE enhances international student mobility from Georgia to leading universities in USA/Europe. The Center serves the needs of Georgian community of youth, schools, universities, government and non-governmental stakeholders and public at large.
CIE has developed a set of services to support Georgia’s citizens in developing their educational and professional skills required for study abroad and to facilitate their further transition from education to the labor market. The Center‟ s nationwide program coverage facilitates access to information and educational opportunities by diverse community groups. In these terms, supporting access to information and equity is central to the CIE‟s operation and its mission CIE has a solid institutional capacity with the highly qualified staff in Tbilisi and regions, trained in USA and Europe in the issues pertaining to project administration in study opportunities abroad, student advising and recruitment and other areas.
CIE’s professional credibility is acknowledged both among Georgian, as well as US/ EU educational communities. CIE acts as a liaison and point of contact for a number of western educational institutions. Among its partner institutions are: Central European University, American University in Bulgaria, John Cabot University in Rome, European University Business School Barcelona campus, Hult International Business School, University of Plymouth and Highbury College in Portsmouth, UK; Kozminski University in Warsaw, Poland; Bard College Berlin, the University of Nicosia, Turiba University in Riga, Latvia; LCC International University in Klaipeda and Vilnius University, Lithuania, and others.
CIE is only official representative of the “EducationUSA Supported by the U.S Department of State” network. It operates 5 EducationUSA centers, one in Tbilisi with the Comprehensive Advising Center Status and 4 Standard advising centers.
Key Accomplishments 2016-2020:
Advising Center of Europe 2017
As a representative of EducationUSA Network, CIE facilitates access and admission of the most competitive students from Georgia to various European and US colleges and universities. CIE‟s efforts constitute a significant rise in student mobility from Georgia to USA from the previous years. In recognition of its performance, in 2017, CIE was awarded a Certificate of the Center of Europe of the Year by the StudyWisconsin Corsortia, USA.
San Diego State University Partnership 2014-2019, SDSU Georgia Recognition Award 2017
In partnership with the San Diego State University (USA) in Georgia, CIE annually outreached thousands of STEM students in over 300 school visits, STEM academies and group presentations. The campaign raised STEM awareness among high school students in Georgia, resulting in increase of enrollment of high school students across the country in the STEM and engineering fields at the undergraduate level. At the STEM Academy in December 2017, CIE and its regional Offices were presented SDSU Recognition Certificate.
Georgia Government Scholarship Board
CIE has contributed its expertise to the Prime-Minister’’s Fund for Study Abroad, established in 2014, now operating under the Ministry of Education and Sciences, LEPL International Center of Education (IEC) through CIE’s director Nino Chinchaladze serving on the Board that awards about 2 mln USD annually to students pursuing graduate studies in US/EU and other parts of the world. In addition, CIE serves on the regional Study Abroad board by the Ajara Autonomous Republic, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. CIE’s individual academic advising efforts for the government scholarship programs led to tens of admitted students to receive GOG scholarship for their studies abroad.
The extensive effective relationship with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, reputation and credibility of CIE has been reflected in the past years‟ close cooperation with the Ministry through CIE‟s representation in Higher and General Education Accreditation Boards. Serving as the Chair (2015-2016) and then members for two consecutive years CIE supports and promotes GOG goals of quality education and higher educational standards in Georgia. CIE director Ms. Nino Chinchaladze has served two terms at the MOE Higher Education Authorization Board and Mr. George Gigiberia served 2 consecutive terms as the member of the MOE School Authorization Council.
OSF Scholarships Summer School
In addition to its educational and outreach services since 2016 CIE has successfully hosted 4 OSF Scholarship Programs Pre-Academic Summer Schools in Tbilisi. The projects have solidified CIE’s partnerships with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in organizing visa and travel issues for international students, participants of the summer academies, and other stakeholder ministries and organizations to ensure smooth and effective operation of the OSF Summer School in Georgia. In the past two years CIE has also served as venue for regional international student interviews for OSF Scholarship programs.
Millennium Challege Account-Georgia (MCA-Georgia) Board
Serving on the highly prestigious MCA Board, CIE Director contributes to the promotion of the Innovation and Technology development in Georgia through the educational sector investment.
MCA Georgia is a Georgian Counterpart of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (USA) implementing Compact II as a part of US-Georgia Strategic Partnership Initiative.
Alumni Projects in 2016 – 2019
The project “Virtual Academy – European Studies Online Platform” (funded by the Open Society Foundations Scholarship Programs 2018-2019) was implemented through engagement of the alumni of different OSF Network Programs and was intended for the students of Georgian high schools and universities. This was one of the pioneer projects in the Georgian virtual space to provide online access to the information related to the increased awareness about EU, its institutions, society, culture, values and to equip them with necessary skills and knowledge for professional development to succeed in application process in western higher educational institutions or enter job markets.
This project brought together 40 high school and university students from all over Georgia (22 students from different regions and 18 -from Tbilisi) to participate in 10 online sessions/lectures and 6 workshops in the Facebook live in the period of February – July 2019. Each session/workshop led to a topic-based discussion in the platform, moderated by the adviser or alumni in charge. In addition, between the sessions, students were given possibility to watch short informative videos about the EU, its institutions and other related topics). At the end of the project the final Platform Graduation Forum was organized, which became the closing promotional event in the project to generate publicity, visibility and presentation of results to the public.
The Project “Strengthening CIE Academic Advising Capacity in Georgia” (Open Society Foundations Scholarship Programs, 1 January – 31 December 2018) supported the Center for International Education to strengthen the daily activities and make its academic advising services more accessible to the masses, especially in the regions. The target population for its services included academics, students, educational institutions, Government, non-government stakeholders and general public, who were reached through the series of outreach sessions, presentations, group and individual consultations and on-line resources.
The unique endeavor by CIE and the Social Work Fellows alumni network were two projects funded by OSF Scholarship Programs and implemented in 2017 – 2018 and 2016 – 2017 years.
The goal of the Project “Cohesive Disability Policy Formation through Effective Partnership in Adjara, Georgia” was to support to the development of cohesive disability policy formation in Adjara through mobilization of the local government and civil society organizations for effective partnership. In the frame of the project the following objectives were met: municipal representatives have been trained in program development cycle; DPO representatives have been trained in social advocacy and on professional orientation. DPO representatives prepared 2 advocacy initiatives for employability of PWDs; doctors in primary Heath Care have been informed about the role of social worker in health care system. The course book on Social Advocacy has been developed for practitioner social workers and social work students; the concept for the TV shows has been developed on the conditions of people with disabilities in Adjara region and the role of social workers.
The project “Promote Development of the Disability Policy and Social Inclusion if the Persons with Disabilities in Adjara, Georgia”, funded by the Open Society Foundations Scholarship Programs 2016-2017, was implemented through the engagement of the Social Work Fellows alumni network, namely the Georgian Association of Social Workers and Equal Opportunities Policy and Advocacy Institute. The project promoted the development of the Disability Policy and social inclusion of the persons with disabilities (PwD) in the western region of Adjara through strengthening capacity of the local government and facilitating a dialogue between the local government and civil society organizations.