The University Purpose and Institutional Autonomy: Challenges and their Impact on Georgia

October 29, 2021 - October 30, 2021
East European University, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University


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International Conference

The challenges facing universities and their impact in Georgia:

From their Purpose to their Institutional Autonomy

October 29-30, 2021

Organizer: Doctoral and Higher Education ResearchDevelopment Center (East European University, Tbilisi), Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

Meeting format: face-to-face and/or virtual (depending on pandemic situation)

Working languages of the conference: Georgian, English

This two-day international conference is organised by East European University & Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University on October 29-30, 2021. The topic of the first day is "The Being of the University", that of the second day - "The Reality of the Institutional Autonomy in Universities". 

The conference aims to explore the emerging nature of Georgian higher education within an international context, what is its function, what are its alternatives, what is its strength, how can it contribute to national flourishing, what are its economic imperatives, how autonomous are its institutions and what is the state of academic freedom within the governance structure of the state and its agents. The format will consist of papers given each day on the topics of the nature of the university and autonomy in the university and a panel will be convened at the end of each day to discuss the contributions in the Georgian context. On the first day panel will be chaired by the Rector of EEU, and on the second day – by the Rector of TSU. There also will be a doctoral colloquium at EEU on 28th October, a pre-conference colloquium for graduate students will be held where paper can also be submitted for discussion and publication.

The Call


Papers are invited on topics relevant to higher education and how they may have bearing on the situation in Georgia. The papers can cover a wide range of theoretical, scholarly and empirical work in international and Georgian contexts. The conference will consider papers from wide range of areas which fall within the themes of the conference. These include but are not limited to: academic freedom, discipline development, transdisciplinarity, autonomy, governance, quality assurance and assessment, international development, employment etc. Successful abstracts will be selected on the basis of a blind review by the academic committee of the conference. 

We are honoured that the two keynote speakers, whose talks will open each day (actual titles to be confirmed) are:

 Emeritus Professor Ronald Barnett (UCL, University of London)

Ronald Barnett is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at University College London Institute of Education (where he was both Dean of Professional Development and (subsequently) Pro-Director for Longer Term Strategy). He is the inaugural President of the Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education Society.  In his academic work, he has been leading the development of a new sub-field, the philosophy of higher education.  He has characterised his position as that of a social philosophy of the university, at once realist, critical, imaginative, and practical, in which he has been attempting to identify concepts and principles that offer ways of enhancing universities and higher education in an uncertain age

Professor Peter Maassen (University of Oslo).

Peter Maassen is Professor in Higher Education Studies and deputy head/research coordinator at the Department for Educational Research, Faculty of Education, University of Oslo, where he also is the academic coordinator of an Erasmus Mundus joint Master Degree programme. Previously he has been the director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS), University of Twente, the Netherlands (1997-2000). His areas of academic specialization include the public governance (including policy reform and institutional change) of higher education; university leadership and management; organisational change in higher education; and the economic role of higher education institutions, in OECD countries, as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Abstracts should be between 150-250 words and be sent as an attached to an email.  The abstracts should be prepared for blind review, so please ensure that the document is free from identifying personal details.The abstract submitted for consideration should represent original work that has not been published elsewhere. All successful authors will be invited to the conference.

In addition to presenters, the conference will be of interest to education policy development representatives, employers and career specialists, lifelong learning educators, education advisers, representatives of professional associations, international support and services staff, student unions.

Those wishing to participate in the conference should send abstracts or requests to join the conference to the following email: [email protected]


The deadline for submission of abstracts is 10 September 2021.

Authors will be notified of acceptance by 15 September 2021 at the latest to allow time for the presentations to be developed.

The detailed programme will be sent to the conference participants one month in advance via Email.

Abstracts of the papers presented will be published separately in a conference proceedings. There is also a potential for an academic book published by Springer International edited by the Academic committee and a special issue in an international journal.


Updated information will appear regularly on the conference website ( It will include details of registration, academic and organization committees and other details relevant to the conference.


Prof. Giorgi Tavadze; Email: [email protected]

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September 10, 2021, 11:00pm +04:00

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