ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus by ISET
Nov
27

Does Georgia Need Highly Educated Workers?

A pleasant surprise awaited me on my first day as a student of Tbilisi State University’s Business and Economics Faculty. Thanks to my performance on the national admission exam (ერთიანი ეროვნული გამოცდები), I was inducted into the so-called “Elite Group,” piloted by TSU in an effort to attract Georgia’s best and brightest. There were 50 of us in the group, mostly from working class families, and none felt like they belonged to any kind of “elite.” In the end, I really enjoyed my “elite” status. Not because I could assert dominance over “mere mortals,” b...
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Sep
25

Is ISET’s New BA Program Winning the Fight for Best Brains in Georgia?

  It is no secret that global competition for the best brains is as intense as ever. Having adequate human capital can put a country on a trajectory of perpetual growth, say economists. The ‘brain wars’ typically play out in the setting of national and multinational companies competing for talent, but some of the most intense fights happen between universities struggling to recruit and retain the best young minds on the planet. Even elite institutions such as Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge are only as good as the quality of their last ...
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Sep
18

Quick and Dirty Decisions Are Not Always Smart!

When my mom was at my age (twenty-four), she already had a ring on her finger, a family, two kids, and a very clear idea about her life. I am not yet married, but I have already made at least one very important decision in my life – to become an economist. I made this fateful decision at 22, having tried myself in a banking job (that I hated). Many of my friends, however, are stuck with the educational and professional choices they have made very early in the lives, before knowing who they are and what they could possibly achieve. I’ve always thought tha...
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May
27

Sabina and Rahul, Welcome to Georgia!

The number of foreign students has been steadily increasing around the world. More and more students chose to earn a degree outside of their home countries. Education internalization plays a key role in the development of today’s educational systems, and the impact of international students goes beyond their short-term financial effect on the economy; it plays a vital role for social cohesion and development of international networks, etc. The literature distinguishes between two types of economic impacts related to international students: short-term ben...
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May
15

Best Pedagogy for Georgia!

  Given Georgia’s dysfunctional educational sector, it is impressive how many Georgians excel intellectually. For example, ISET regularly sends some of its graduates to the best Ph.D. programs of the world, proving that many Georgians succeed in realizing their intellectual potentials despite unfavorable conditions. At the same time, we notice that a considerable share of students who get enrolled at ISET are not well-endowed with essential knowledge and competencies, lacking, for example, presentation skills, writing proficiency, and resourcefulnes...
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Apr
29

What Can Georgia Learn from Sweden’s Educational Disaster?

Between 2000 and 2012, Sweden fell in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) by 16 places from the 7th to the 23rd rank, and in the 2015 PISA study, Sweden ranked 28th of 34 countries in mathematics! As the OECD writes: “No other PISA-participating country saw a steeper decline in student performance over the past decade than Sweden.” Who is to blame? TOO MUCH COMPETITION? Those from the left side of the political spectrum claim that too much freedom of choice was introduced to the Swedish educational system. Since 1992, a voucher syst...
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