Almost as soon as they are through the front doors, new arrivals to ISET are told that the institute is like a family, and it does not take long before the truth of these words is proved. ISET alumni frequently come back to visit, and not just to pay friendly visits to their old professors: many have gone on to work prestigious jobs in both the government and private sectors or earn PhDs in American and European universities, and so return to ISET to present on topics that will be of interest to the community, both old and new.
It all started with a simple exercise for my Master’s project in which I tried to understand the underlying causes of the observed wage gap between ethnic Georgians and ethnic minorities in the country. After more than a decade, a reputable international journal has published a paper reporting on the experimental evidence my colleagues and I collected and analyzed on labor market outcomes for ethnic minority and female citizens of Georgia.
American and Western European visitors to Georgia are fascinated by the fact that middle-aged Georgian taxi drivers often brandish a couple of engineering degrees, while young hotel receptionists and shop assistants frequently come with law, business, and international relations education. Having spent a couple of days in Tbilisi, visitors may come to imagine that Georgia is so abundant in human capital that entry into these fairly undemanding occupations is extremely competitive.
On February 20, ISET students delivered yet another policy seminar. The seminar was opened by Eric Livny, the president of ISET, who delivered an inspirational speech regarding the jobs of the future. He posed the question, “In this rapidly changing world, what do we need to teach schoolchildren today so that their skills and knowledge are still relevant ten or twenty years from now?”.
Back in October 2015, a team of ISET researchers visited Charity House Catharsis to donate food on World Food Day, celebrated around the globe on October 16th. Catharsis was founded in 1990 and provides daily dinner to 310 elderly in need. Although the major function of the charity house is to provide food, Catharsis also offers other services like medical assistance, a relaxation room, chapel, rehabilitation hall, library, and café.