Involvement of universities in social and economic development of the society; new innovation programs and training courses for improving academic personnel’s digital competence and skills; establishment of student psychological counseling centers and training in global health and global health research methods – from January 2021, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) will start implementation of four projects having won the CBHE 2020 (ERASMUS+) grant competition.
The TSU Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences will implement the project “Developing and Implementing Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning at Georgian HEIs (DITECH).” The project aims at enhancing the quality of higher education by developing and implementing technology-enhanced teaching and learning at Georgian HEIs.
The specific objectives of the project are:
- To design and pilot new online/blended courses for GE HEIs BA and MA programs in line with EU best practices.
- To design and conduct F2F/online/blended professional development training courses for GE HEI faculty and online instructors.
- To develop a common platform for online teaching and learning for GE HEIs.
- To disseminate best practices at institutional and national levels via online platform, in-service teacher trainings and National Conference.
The main target groups are students, academic staff, and pre-/in-service teachers.
Another winning project is “Establishment of Psychological Counseling Centers at Georgian HEIs for Students/E-PSY), which aims at improving student services at Georgian HEIs by means of establishing psychological counseling centers for students at target partner universities in all regions of Georgia. Specific objectives of the project are: a) establishment of psychological counseling centers at target partner HEIs for students; b) preparing and retraining staff to work at psychological counseling centers; c) elaboration of recommendations and legislation documentation for policy makers and governmental agencies of Georgia; creation of training modules, supervision and intervision systems.
Within the framework of the Erasmus+-funded project, it is also planned to raise public awareness about mental health issues among students and broader public. A campaign involving public meetings, use of media space, group meetings with psychologists and other field experts will be carried out. The developed materials will be used in the curricula of BA and MA programs in psychology to enhance already existing courses and improve students’ practical skills. Further, the Association of the Heads of Psychological Counseling Centers will be established. The project will be implemented by the TSU Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences.
The project “Strengthening the Quality and Relevance of the 3rd mission in Georgian Universities (SQUARE)” will be implemented through coordination by the TSU Quality Assurance Service. The project aims at improving the quality and relevance of the 3rd mission in Georgian universities, involving the increased role of universities in social and economic development of the society.
Within the framework of the project, Georgian universities, through cooperation with international partners, will create methods and guidelines about the 3rd mission planning, introducing, implementing, and assessing. Moreover, the strategy of the 3rd mission will be developed. The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport and the National Center for Education Quality Enhancement will update the quality assurance system and integrate the assessment of activities into quality assurance standards. The project will also promote raising of awareness about the 3rd mission of universities. It is also worth noting that one project of the 3rd mission will be piloted at each member university of the project consortium.
The TSU Faculty of Medicine will be involved in one more TSU project having won CBHE 2020 grant competition – “Building Academic Capacity in Global Health in the Eastern Europe - Central Asia Region (BACE).”
The project aims at building academic capacity in global health in both Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. TSU will develop six thematic courses in global health and three training courses in global health research methods.
The new training courses will be implemented and offered to the students of post-diploma programs in public health (MA and PhD) as mandatory and elective courses, and to the students of one-step medical programs – as an elective course.
Academic staff of the TSU Faculty of Medicine will undergo special training in the methods of teaching; simultaneously, they will work on the development of new training courses in partnership with the academic staff of Heidelberg and Tromsø Universities.
TSU will participate in the establishment of Regional Global Health Alliance as a founding member and then in the activities carried out by the Alliance. A five-day intensive course, as well as various conferences and workshops for professionals and students will be held with the participation of TSU representatives for three years. The project will be implemented by the Faculty of Medicine.