Education in the South Caucasus: Modernization, Innovation and Future Trends

20 Jun, 2015

An international symposium, “Education in the South Caucasus: Modernization, Innovation and Future Trends” has been organized by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC), in cooperation with Ilia State University (ISU) and Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF), to take place at ISU on Friday, June 19, 2015.

The day-long symposium will be examining past and current challenges as well as new directions and trends in educational reform in the South Caucasus. The working language will be English.

“If you want a growing economy, higher employment, and gender equality, then access to higher education is essential,” said Dr. Stephen Jones, ARISC Vice President. “This symposium will look at Higher Educational reform in the South Caucasus and think about the links between educational progress on the one hand and economic and democratic gains on the other.”

The symposium aims to identify and advance an understanding of culturally specific challenges facing higher education in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia by creating a forum for the discussion and sharing of ideas among scholars, practitioners and policy-makers. It also seeks to encourage an open dialogue of best practices in developing cross-border cooperation.

The morning session will focus on “Challenges in Education” and aims to address topics that bridge the gap between the current and future state of education relative to the opportunities and challenges for educational reform. The presenters at this session include Giorgi Sharvashidze, Georgian Ministry of Education, Hamlet Isaxanli of Azerbaijan’s Khazar University, and Angelina Hovannisyan, Armenian Ministry of Education. The discussion will be moderated by Stephen Jones of Mount Holyoke College and Vice President of ARISC .

The afternoon session will address “Promising Directions in Education.” Speakers for this session are scholars known and recognized for their active engagement in topics ranging from innovative approaches for faculty teaching and student learning to policy planning and strategy, including Simon Janashia from Columbia University, Joanna Regulska of Rutgers University, Üzeyir Bağırov, Qafqaz University, and Samvel Karabekyan, National Team of Higher Education Reform Experts. The discussion following the presentations will be moderated by Jane Britt Greenwood, AIA, of Prince Sultan University.

This symposium is free and open to the public, and is supported with a grant from the US Department of Education to the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC), and is co-sponsored by Ilia State University, Open Society Georgia Foundation, and a private donation.

The presenters ask that attendees register in advance at

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.