Barriers to Completion of PhD Studies in Georgia
Barriers to Completion of PhD Studies in Georgia

On April 7, PMC Research Center (PMC RC) held a presentation and panel discussion on the findings of its research entitled “Barriers to Completion of PhD Studies in Georgia,” the aim of which was to improve understanding of the challenges faced by doctoral students who are on academic leave and to offer corresponding policy recommendations.

Highly-skilled graduates are viewed as being among the most crucial prerequisites for any country’s economic growth, innovation, and technological progress. The number of PhD students has been increasing worldwide, with doctoral education having transformed drastically all over the world in the last three decades. This expansion of doctoral education has however brought about some controversial trends in higher education such as the overproduction of PhD graduates and a high level of attrition, leading to low completion rates.

By focusing on completion rates of PhD students in Georgia and identifying the support mechanisms offered by universities (or the lack thereof), the research paper analyzed the main reasons for the widespread delay in graduation and offered some guidance to address complex and multilayered problems.

During the presentation, Nino Dzotsenidze, Associate Consultant at PMCG, presented the key findings of the research. She introduced the barriers encountered by PhD students in Georgia at individual, institutional, and systemic levels, reviewed how the doctoral education landscape had changed in Georgia from 2016 to 2021, and issued a set of policy recommendations to overcome those barriers in order to improve both completion times and graduation rates.

"Doctoral education is one of the cornerstones of a knowledge-based economy. Highly-qualified doctoral students are considered a prerequisite for the economic development, innovation, and technical progress of any country in the modern world. This research aimed to explore barriers faced by PhD students in order to improve the quality of doctoral education in Georgia,” said Dzotsenidze.

The panel discussion participants - Keti Gabitashvili (Head of the Science Department, Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia), Tea Gergedava (Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University), Mariam Amashukeli (Affiliated Researcher at the Center for Social Sciences, and PhD student at Tbilisi State University) - discussed the current situation with respect to PhD studies in Georgia and the experiences gleaned therein.

The study was conducted by PMC RC, in the course of the project “Public Policy Discourse and Dialogue Platform” with the support of PMCG.

To read the research paper, visit the following link: “Barriers to Completion of PhD Studies in Georgia”