The authorization board has unlawfully denied the International Black Sea University the right of receiving new contingent of students for one year period. Starting from 2018, the authorization process begun with new standards applied in higher educational institutions operating in Georgia. On April 24-27, the International Black Sea University hosted an expert group headed by Professor Andy Gibbs, an international expert in education from the United Kingdom. As a result of the study analysis and factual circumstances, a team of experts prepared a conclusion according to which the University meets authorization standards: out of seven standards (19 sub-standards) none have been evaluated negatively.
By the decision of the Authorization Board of Higher Educational Institutions of 20 August 2018, the International Black Sea University was granted authorization for 6 years; At the same time, the Board has made a totally illogical and incompatible decision that contradicts the experts’ conclusion; it ignores the positive conclusion of experts and the University is forced to stop accepting the new contingent of students until August 20, 2019. As a result, up to 800 students' choices to study at the International Black Sea University have been ignored, the Board has compelled them to apply to other higher educational institutions. The decision constitutes a threat to students’ legal preferences during two academic years.
The argument for the decision made by the Authorization Board is that the International Black Sea University was imposed a tax penalty in 2013 (the amount of the fine at the current moment is 700 000 GEL and the judicial dispute is still in process). Due to the fine, the property of the university has been sequestered. The university is ready to pay a tax penalty in case of loosing a court dispute. It should be emphasized, that according to the decision of June 4, 2018 of the Revenue Service (# 025-152), sequestration of the university’s property was abolished. The document was submitted to the Authorization Board, however, the Board did not take the mentioned factual circumstance into a consideration.
The Board’s position is groundless and unfair due to the following reasons: Firstly, real estate and other assets of the International Black Sea University greatly exceeds 700,000 GEL; secondly, the decision made by the Authorization Board reduces the revenue of the university up to 2 million GEL only this year (which normally would have been used for various educational purposes). The question is whether or not limiting the university's income is an adequate measure when the Board (unreasonably) considers the material instability to be university’s main problem?
Besides, according to the authorization experts’ report, the university's material and financial resources are in full accordance with the requirements. It is clear, that the Authorization Board ignores a qualified assessment of its local and foreign experts.
The irresponsible decision of the authorization board hinders the development of one of the leading and internationally recognized universities in Georgia which has 23 years of successful academic experience, is known for its graduates' high employment rates and cooperates with more than 60 international universities. Up to 2000 international and local students are currently studying in the university, it employs 400 qualified staff members.
We apply to NGOs and international organizations, diplomatic corps and the whole civil society to support the International Black Sea University in its fight against injustice.
We refer to the Government of Georgia to take appropriate measures in order to prevent the damaging of the country’s international reputation, democratic values, freedom of entrepreneurial activity and to protect the educational sphere from unhealthy influences.
Administration of International Black Sea University