As part of the joint project “Structured Education – Quality Assurance – Freedom to Think” with the Georg-August-University Goettingen (UGOE), the Carl Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt International Doctoral School (IDS) is being set up at Ilia State University (ISU). For a meeting with the partner university, in which the planning of the further steps to establish the IDS was on the agenda, a high-level delegation from ISU visited UGOE from December 3 to 7, 2018.

Besides the Rector of ISU, Prof. Dr. Giga Zedania, and the Vice-Rector, Prof. Dr. Nino Doborjginidze, also Prof. Dr. David Tarkhnishvili (Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Engineering), Prof. Dr. Giorgi Gvalia (Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences), Ana Kvanchilashvili (Head of the Public Relations Office), Ketevan Darakhvelidze (Head of the Office of Development) and Dr. Martin Piazena (Coordinator of the Carl Friedrich Lehmann- Haupt International Doctoral Program) belonged to the delegation.

The workshop began with a meeting with representatives of the four graduate schools at UGOE, at which an intensive exchange of experience already took place. In the further course of the workshop, the future tasks of the IDS and the cooperation with the ISU faculties were discussed, as well as a communication concept and a milestone plan were developed. The delegation further had the opportunity of a personal encounter with five doctoral students from Georgia who write their theses under the joint supervision by a Georgian professor from ISU and a German professor from UGOE. The highlight of the visit to Goettingen was a meeting with Dr. Wilhelm Krull, Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation, and Dr. Matthias Nöllenburg, Program Director at the Volkswagen Foundation, at which Prof. Zedania presented the results of the previous days and the shared vision of the IDS.

In the long term, the IDS aims to establish structured and internationally oriented education for Georgian doctoral students. The IDS will provide elementary support and advice, aid interdisciplinary approaches and academic cooperation, and play a pioneering role in the region through the application of international standards. The aim is to sustainably improve the quality and reputation of Georgian doctoral degrees, as well as to open career perspectives within and outside of academia.

The German-Georgian cooperation project is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia for a period of four years with approximately one million Euros.

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