In publica commoda

Press release: Innovative doctoral programmes planned with Georgian universities

Nr. 2/2018 - 05.01.2018

Göttingen University raises funds to the tune of € 1.8 million

(pug) Göttingen University has raised funds totalling almost € 1.8 million for two joint doctoral programmes planned with universities in Georgia. Roughly € 1.2 million have been provided by the Volkswagen Foundation and approximately € 590,000 from the Georgian Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation. From these grants, Göttingen University will be establishing a multidisciplinary doctoral programme with the Ilia State University Tbilisi (ISU) and a mathematical doctoral programme with the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) in the coming years.

"This funding holds a remarkable amount of potential for the future," says Professor Hiltraud Casper-Hehne, Göttingen University's Vice President for International Affairs.“ Both projects enable sustainable cooperation in promoting young talent with a region that will play a significantly more important role for Germany and Europe in the coming decade. Georgia is an important transit country between Europe and Asia and, with our cooperation, we are building good links with science, business and society there. This will also allow us to fulfill our global responsibility for the science system.“

On the Göttingen side, thirteen chairs from nine scientific disciplines are involved thus far in the Lehmann-Haupt International Joint Doctoral Programme, planned together with the ISU. Initially, twelve doctoral candidates from Georgia and the Caucasus will be sponsored in the programme and mentored equally at both locations. On this basis, the cooperation partners plan to set up the ISU International Doctoral School as a second step in Georgia in order to enable a long-term, structured education that is oriented around international standards for Georgian doctoral candidates. Around € 786,000 from the Volkswagen Foundation and 292,000 from the Rustaveli Foundation will be put towards the project. The ISU is a comparatively young university that has become one of the most important “full subject” universities in the region over the past ten years. It is strongly oriented towards Europe, always keeping a close eye on the most modern developments in the global higher education landscape and resolutely implementing corresponding reforms.

The joint international doctoral programme in mathematics with the TSU is led by Professor Ralf Meyer of the Mathematical Institute on the Göttingen side. For the time being, ten doctoral candidates will receive a scholarship for a six- to twelve-month research stay at Göttingen University or at another German university. A newly established international doctoral programme in mathematics at the TSU, whose regulations are similar to those of the doctoral programme in Mathematical Sciences at Göttingen, forms the basis for this project. The Volkswagen Foundation will be funding the project with € 430,000, and the Rustaveli Foundation is expected to give € 297,000. Founded in 1918, the TSU is the largest and oldest university in the Caucasus. It was one of the most important centres of Soviet mathematics and partly became a world leader.

The first contractual agreements between Göttingen University and the TSU date back to 1997, and the ISU has been cooperating intensively with Göttingen since 2010. Over the past five years, various projects have seen more than 20 scientific and student exchanges taking place between Göttingen University and its partners in Georgia.

Second only to the USA, Germany is Georgia's most important partner in terms of bilateral joint development ventures. Collaboration with Georgia is also part of the Caucasus Initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. At the same time, Georgia also plays an important role in China’s New Silk Road Initiative, a billion-euro expansion of the rail, road and waterway system, which is to become a significant and high-performance logistics route between the European and Chinese economic areas over the next decade.

Professor Hiltraud Casper-Hehne
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Vice President for International Affairs
Wilhelmsplatz 1, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
Phone +49 (0)551 39-13110