The Advocacy for Students’ Rights Project was funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) with the amount of $ 39 241 in 2020–2021. The project aims to empower students at two major universities in Tbilisi: Ilia State University and Tbilisi State University. Creating an advocacy campaign to end student engagement and academic corruption at the two largest universities. The campaign will have three focal points: the election of the rector of Tbilisi State University in September 2020; Parliamentary elections in October 2020; And the period before the October 2021 local elections.
Following the success of the project, the Foundation continued to fund the existing project in the amount of $ 45 900 in 2021-2022. The project identified important issues to focus on, such as promoting political debate and freedom of association in Georgian universities; Promoting accountability and political neutrality in the allocation of university funds; Also, promoting student advocacy on economic and other issues.
The main goal of the project is to facilitate the transformation of the existing education system in the country and bring it closer to European standards and quality. In European quality education, we consider issues such as University internal democracy, different funding models for education and science, access to education, and a long-term vision for education policy.
The project is unique in that it creates a platform for deliberation on the problems, challenges, and ways to solve them in today’s system. This platform will bring together thousands of students from all over the country, as well as academic and scientific circles. Each of these people will have the opportunity to voice their visions and thoughts, which will be taken into account in each aspect of the final reform.
The main reason for the project “Advocacy for Students’ Rights” is to promote the transformation of the existing education system and make it close to European standards and qualities. In the European quality of education, we think about such kind of issues as are: the democracy inside the universities, different founding models of education and science, education accessibility, and long-term view of politics of education. The project is unique in the way it creates the platform which is under consideration about the problems in the existing system, challenges, and how to settle them. This platform will be united by thousands of students around the whole country, and also, academic and scientific circles. Each of these people will have the possibility to say out loud their visions and ideas, which will be taken into account in every single aspect of the final reform.
It is important that young people acquire practical skills and knowledge about politics. Within the framework of the project, it was planned to establish a youth council in Georgia for the first time, where young people will get to know the Tbilisi City Council and directly observe the current processes. It is in this direction that the National Endowment for Democracy announced its support, and in 2022 we continued the project in this direction, which was funded in the amount of 54,510 USD.