All over the world, the quest for technological innovation is proceeding with great intensity. Georgia is not an exception. While local universities are trying to build fab-labs (fabrication laboratories – small-scale workshops offering personal digital fabrication), the government has established the Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA) to support the creation of start-ups and tech companies.
The number of foreign students has been steadily increasing around the world. More and more students choose 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 in social cohesion and the development of international networks, etc.
According to the recent World Happiness Report 2017, Georgia ranks 125th among 155 countries with respect to peoples’ happiness. On a 0-10 happiness scale, the country scores only 4.29. Figure 1 below presents rankings and happiness scores for Georgia and its neighbors, as well as for the world’s best and worst performers.
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 in 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 resourcefulness in discussion and argumentation.
Nobel-winning economist James Heckman proclaimed that “the data speak for itself” after he carried out an experiment known as the 'Perry pre-School Project' and discovered that investing in high-quality preschool education brings returns of around 14 percent – a rate of return that is much higher than standard returns on stock market equity (7.2 percent).