PROMOTING THE PRINCIPLES OF KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY IN GEORGIAN UNIVERSITIES
International Centre for Social Research and Policy Analysis (GEORGIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:In the era of globalization, rising competitiveness and technological progress, the role of universities gains more importance across a wide range of issues including knowledge economy, which requires benchmarked adaptation. Universities are acquiring increasing importance as an instrument of economic, social, and cultural development, and also as a mean of bringing about change in the community, in which relationship between education, science and business is receiving increased attention. The European Union, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank have stressed the significance of education, research and development (R&D) as crucial factors for development.
Recently Georgian society has demonstrated an increased awareness of higher education reform which has become a widely debated issue. However, the priorities of Bologna process reflected in EU-Georgia Neighborhood Policy Action Plan, have not been yet translated into concrete policy or legislative changes in the sphere of higher education and science, which presents complex challenges to universities. Among the priorities included in this Action Plan, is development of sound education, research and innovation policies in Georgia, which will help the country achieve and maintain sustainable economic growth.
Along with these priorities, the international organizations indicate an alarming inefficiency of Georgian universities and scientific research institutes. According to the latest results provided in Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009 (Global Competitiveness Index, http://gcr.weforum.org/gcr09/), Georgia ranks 90th among 134 countries. This emphasizes an inefficiency and unproductive performance of universities.
The survey analysis conducted recently by the International Centre for Social Research and Policy Analysis (ICSRPA), has clearly shown the main impediments related to the lack of competitive knowledge resources, Ph.D. programs, innovative teaching and research methodologies. To combat such a negative trend, our organization has called for action dedicated to promoting Bologna Process in Georgian universities through providing policy analysis, disseminating the benchmarked practices, popularising the European Neighbourhood Policy priorities, conducting trainings/seminars in Knowledge Management and Innovation Policy, and creating a network for exchanging ideas and creating the bank of ideas for knowledge commercialization. Within the framework of this project we have also suggested practical recommendations for reforms and development.
The activity format also included workshops and roundtables dedicated to higher education and science reform, which presents complex challenges to policy makers. Attention has been concentrated on inter-correlation among science, higher education institutions and business, and their involvement in promoting sustainable development of human resources and human capital, in order to increase innovative potential in university activities through assisting in development of curricular resources, research and teaching methodologies. These activities have significantly promoted the problem actualization, awareness rising and knowledge dissemination among focus groups.
In my paper I intend to explore the policy aspects of higher education reform in Georgia share the summarized results with ICERI2010 Conference.
Keywords: Globalization, universities, European Neighbourhood Policy, Bologna Process, knowledge economy, research and development, innovation.