Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University hosted delegation of the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow, presented by prof. Josez Stala, Vice rector in Internationalization, Mrs. Iwona Bak, Head of the center of Scientific Research and International Relations and Prof. Elzbeta Osewska.
During one weel (13-22 May 2019) colleagues from UPJP2 had meetings with Sabauni administration: with rector, vice rector, deans of the faculties and representatives of other structural units. During the meetings the development of strong cooperation and challenges were discussed. “Erasmus+ is the good possibility to establish and deepening the cooperation between the universities, also, for sharing new ideas and prospective for further partnership”- Josez Stala mentioned during the meeting.
In framework of the visit, prof. Elzbeta Osewska, delivered public lecture for Sabauni students.
Sabauni has good cooperation with UPJP2 for years not only within Erasmus+, but within joint project. Last year (2018) with cooperation UPJP2 and Sabauni, student conference about migration was held. In frame of this project Sabauni students spent one week in Krakow and another one week, Polish students visited Sabauni. The thesis of the speeches were published as a in English language.
According to the Decision of Erasmus+ elective commission of UVA (University of Valladolid) Sabauni two Students, Ia Kitsbabashvili and Larisa Chkadua, from faculty of Business and Tourism were selected as Erasmus+ KA107 program grantee and they will spend one semester of 2019-2020 academic year at University of Valladolid (Spain).
5-6 June 2019 the third international Symposia, “Catholic Heritage in Georgia” was held at Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University, which was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of restoration of Apostolic Administration in Georgia. Among the guests, the honorable guests were invited, Msgr. Jose Avelino Betancourt, the Apostolic Nuncio of Holly See in Georgia and Armenia, and Mrs. Malgorzata Wierzchowska from Polish Institute in Tbilisi and from the Embassy of Poland in Georgia.
The Symposia was opened with welcome speeches from Msgr. Jose Avelino Betancourt, Msgr, Giuseppe Pasotto, Apostolic Administrator of Latin Catholics in South Caucasus and founder of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University and Prof. VajaVardidze, rector of the University.
The first speaker of the Symposia was prof. Gabriele Bragantini, with the speech “25th anniversary of restoration of apostolic administration”. In his speech, Bragantini answered the most asked question regarding the administration, such: what does it mean apostolic administration? Why apostolic administration and not Tbilisi Eparchy? What is difference between apostolic administration and eparchy? and etc… Prof. of Tbilisi State University, Murman Papashvili, presented different approach regarding the voyage of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani in France with the title “Why wanted Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani launch French Missions in Georgia”. About the life of famous polish artist, Zygmunt Waliszewski spoke prof. Henryka Justinska. The first session ended with the speech of Guliko Mchedlidze, professor from Korneli Kekelidze Georgian National Center of Manuscripts who spoke about the unpublished historical documents about the Italian priests in Kutaisi”.
The second session open Sabauni professor, Nugzar Bardavelidze, with the topic “Fratti Minori Capuccini and Georgia”. About the article published in newspaper “Bedi Kartlisa” regarding the problem of Catholic Church in Istanbul spoke Mariam Marjanishvili, employer of Historical Museum of Kutaisi. Historian Davit Merkviladze delivered the paper on Arcangelo Lamberti’s “Sacra Colhis”.
The first day of the symposia ended with the speakers Tamar Charkviani, Sociologist “Discourses towards Georgian Catholics in Georgia” and National Museum researcher, Irakli Feradze, “Catholic Missioners and medicine in the late Middle Ages Georgia”.
The second day of the Symposia open Sabauni professor, Nugzar Papuashvili with the paper “Friedrich Parrot about the catholic Church of Kutaisi in 1829” where spoke the German doctor, alpinist, Friedrich Parrots ‘trip in Georgia and Kutaisi. The Symposia was attended by Italian speakers, Francesco Trecci, Historian, Author the book “Georgian in Italy”and Alessandto Bicchi who spoke about the relationship between Georgian Orthodox Church and Catholic Church.
Last session of the Symposia, was presented by two speakers: Tinatink Kokochashvili, the descendant of Georgian Catholic Maecenas , the Zubalashvili brothers spoke about the contribution of the catholic Zubalashvili to the Georgian Nation ‘s History and Current Reality”. Kokochashvili’s speech was based on prof. Zhuzhuna Peikrishvili’s second book about the Zubalashvili. Maia Damenia, doctor at Ilia State University presented the prosopographical Database of Catholic missions in Georgia”
At the end of the Symposia, the excursion was offered in the Catholic Charitable Organizations, “Caritas Georgia”and “Reabilitation Center of St. Camillo”.
The speeches delivered during the Symposia will be published for the next year.
Prof. Tamta Mikaberidze, dean of faculty Business and Tourism took part in Erasmus+ KA107 Administrative staff mobility at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin 13-18 May 2019. During her stay in Lublin, she had arranged several meetings with Polish colleagues. During the meeting with prof. Helena Zukowska, the prospective further cooperation was discussed (Erasmus+ KA107 and joint projects). Joint research projects were discussed with the heads of Institute of economic and management and chair person of the Institute of European Research.
Prof. Tamta Mikaberidze met also Mrs. Anna Tarnowska-Waszak, Head of the Open University of KUL, Dr. Dorota Bis, Head of University Centre for Post-graduate Studies and Vocational Development, Mr. Grzegorz Wenarski, the Head of the Department of International Projects and KUL IRO staff.
The aim of the visit was the sharing experience and best practices, deepening the cooperation, especially in the field of Economic and Business, providing and supporting the joint teaching and research projects.
Sabauni has friendly partnership with KUL since its establishment and there are many joint projects and Erasmus+ Ka107 since 2015-2016 academic year.
Erasmus+ KA2 project “Sustainable Learner Centered Teaching, Advanced Resources for Georgia and China” STAR is approaching in its end and the final project meeting was held in 3-7 June of 2019 in Georgia, aiming to summer up the project outcomes and discuss the possibility of further cooperation between the universities.
In the frame of the project there was elaborated the Manual on “Learner Centered Teaching” in English, Georgian and Chinese (responsible for the WP university of Ruse, Bulgaria), established the Continuous Professional Development units in the partner universities and trained the academic and administrative staff (responsible the University of Coimbra, Portugal), created the online platform which will be accessible for the interested people to get more information about the LCT, CPD units and its implementation in the partner universities, also, get acquainted the experience of universities and ask the questions to the field experts. (responsible for the platform University of Georgia). Those above mentioned topics were the main topic of the final dissemination conference, which was held on 4th June.
Last day of the meeting the partners from China and Czech Republic have the possibility to visit Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University, where were greeted by University rector, prof. Vaja Vardidze and Vice rector, prof. Dimitry Gegenava. The partners also met the deans of the faculties.
The meeting was hosted by University of Georgia and all the partners were attended: Massaryk University (Czech Republic, coordinator university), University college of Copenhagen (Denmark), University of Coimbra (Portugal), University of Ruse (Bulgaria), Sabauni, Zugdidi State University and five Chinese Universities.
STAR project started in the 2016 and it will end in October of 2019.
On 2 June Baku hosted the third conference established as a cultural bridge. The conference on Contemporary American short stories was held with the cooperation of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani Teaching University and Language Co-Working Cetre. The organisers were Tamilla Myrzayeva, the director of the centre and Alexandra Japarova from Azeri side and Tamta Kalichava, visiting lecturer at Sulkhan-Saba University and Ilia State University, Shorena Gogiashvili head of the language center and affiliated assistant at Sulkhan-Saba University, Veriko Khutsishvili invited lecturer at Sulkhan-Saba University from Georgian side. Besides the literature, the Azeris made a performance to introduce their writers to the Georgian guests. The cycle of conferences dedicated to contemporary American literature was conducted the third times throughout three consecutive years. It was the first Georgian visit in Baku.
The opening speeches were made by Almaz Melikova, a famous film critic, working for the National Academy of Science; Aynur Qazanfar qizi- a folklorist in the National Academy of Science; Leyli Aliyeva, a famous translator in the National Academy of Science. The significance of the conference was increased as serious plans were set for the cooperation during next year with the inclusion of other countries by establishing cultural bridges and holding conferences in the same format. Detailed information will be announced to students later.
4 June of 2019 the Final Dissemination Conference of the Erasmus+ KA2 project “Sustainable Learner Centered Teaching - Advanced Resources for Georgia and China (STAR) was held, where participated all the partner universities involved in the project.
The Welcome Speeches were made by Koka Topuria, rector of University of Georgia, Dr. LIka Glonti head of National Erasmus Office in Georgia, who spoke about the necessity and need of implementation learner centered teaching in Georgian Educational System, the importance of cooperation within Erasmus+ programs and sharing experience from the european colleagues.
After the opening speeches, representatives of european universities spoke about the project, its objectives, implementation and outcomes: Ivana Marova (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), summer up the projects general objectives and realized activities, Tsvetelina Harachkeva (University of Ruse, Bulgaria) spoke about the manual on LCT, she is one of the author , and Teresa Pesoa and Silvia Nolan (University of Coimbra, Portugal) spoke about the face to face training and CPD. LCT implementation and challenges was the topic of the Johnny Baltzersen from University college Copenhagen (Danmark)
The second part of the conference was dedicated to the presentations of partner universities, where they talked about the results, outcomes and main challenges of the project. Prof. Eka Natsvlishvili, prof. Of Sabauni, spoke about the outcomes of the project for Sabauni, CPD done, ongoing and planned activities and challenges regarding the implementation of the LCT in classes.
The final dissemination conference was held in the framework of STAR project 7th meeting which as held from 3 June till 7 June at University of Georgia. The project “Sustainable learner centered Teaching - Advanced Resources for Georgia and China” begun in 2016 and will end in october of 2019.
Within the project there are the main outcomes: Established Continuous Professional Development Center, Elaborated the Manual on Learner Centered, launched the training module on LCT, trained the academic personnel of the university.
Sabauni rector, prof. Vaja Vardidze participated in the international conference around the issue of sustainability , not only from a scientific approach, but also extending to a moral, social, legal and political dimension, based on the encyclical Laudato si' written by Pope Francis, published on 24 May 2015, that was hosted by Pazman Peter Catholic University (hungary).
The lectures were followed by round-table discussions, in accordance with the usual procedures of the conference of Catholic universities in Central and Eastern Europe, with a particular focus on educational and research cooperation in the areas of concern.
On the closing day of the conference the progress of sustainability, family science, interfaith dialogue and new technical and biomedical principles of medical results which are analyzed on the basis of the teaching of the Catholic Church.
Various institutions represented themselves at the scientific exchange, such as the Catholic University of Croatia, the Ukrainian Catholic University, the Catholic University in Ružomberok, the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, the Palacký University Olomouc, Graz University of Technology, the University of Notre Dame (Indiana), the John Templeton Foundation, and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Central and Eastern Europe delegate.
The participants of the conference were welcomed by archbishop Michael A. Blume, current Apostolic Nuncio to Hungary; William C. Donahue, Director of UND Nanovic Institute and Prof. Szabolcs Szuromi, Rector of PPCU.
The welcome speeches were followed by speeches and lectures of Dr. Subhas K. Sikdar, former Associate Director for Science for the National Risk Management Research Laboratory of the U.S. ('Contradictions in the area of sustainability: what, why and how?'); Prof. Michael Narodoslawsky of Graz University of Technology about the technical, economic and political challenges of sustainability; Prof. Željko Tanjić, Rector of the Catholic University of Croatia on theological aspects of sustainability; Dr. Emőke Korzenszky ('Ethical Imperatives of Global Sustainability') and Prof. Heriberto Cabezas, member of PPCU's Laudato si' Institute and head of the Bioethics Center ('Water, food and energy').
The first conference of Catholic Universities was held in 2005 and has annual character and is organized by University of Notre Dame (UND, Indiana) and the Nanovic Institute (related to studying Eastern and Central Europe).
The next conference will be hosted by Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University in May of 2020.
30 May 2019 “Learner Centered Teaching” training for academic staff was held at Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University, where academic staff from 9 Georgian universities were attended. the first part of the event the trainers shared the information on LCT with trainees, the following methods were emphasized: Task based learning (TBL), problem-based learning (PBL), project-based learning (PBL), Discovery learning and learning contract, while the second part the participants worked in the groups according to the handouts. The training was headed by Sabauni professors, Ekaterine Natsvlishvili and Gvantsa Abdaladze, who were involved in the project from the beginning.
Training module “Learner Centered Teaching” was elaborated within Erasmus+ KA2 “Sustainable Learner Centered Teaching, advanced Resources for Georgia and China” (STAR). In the framework of the project, the Manual was created where is collected the best practice regarding the above-mentioned teaching approaches. Beside this, the Center for Professional Development was established at the University aiming to prepare and offer trainings for professional development to our academic staff.
After the training the participants were awarded by Certificate.
Center for Professional Development will regularly offer such kind of trainings to academic staff of Sabauni and other stakeholders as well.
On 16-18 May 2019 prof. Vaja Vardidze, rector and prof. Dimitry Gegenava, vice rector of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani Universtiy paid a visit at the University of Antwerp (Belgium), where General Assembly of FUCE (Federation of European Catholic Universities) was held. The topic of the GA was “European Humanism in the making”
The Assembly was divided into three parts. The topic of the first part was “The European Social and Political Construction: Challenges for the future”, where speeches were delivered by Steven Van Hecke, prof. of KU Leuven and Franck Vandenbroucke, prof. of the University of Antwerp.
The second part was dedicated to the newly established interdisciplinary study program (for BA and MA) “European Humanism in the making”. The program and course coordinators have presented the educational program and after that the audience discussed it. Establishing the program, FUCE wanted to address the Pope Francis’ question “What happened to humanist Europe, the defender of human rights, democracy and freedom?” accordingly, during the assembly the following questions were discussed:
“How to reinterpret the values that underpin European Humanism”
“How relevant is European humanism in a globalized world and how may it apply to current society”
“How can European humanism contribute to current issues of governance, citizenship, prosperity, solidarity and human development?”
How do we study European humanism and how to apply it in higher education”?
During the third part of the meeting “hope for the future” was the topic of discussion and seminars. Among the speakers, there was Herman Van Rompuy, Minister of State, former Belgian prime Minister and first President of the European Council was presented.
During the GA the new president of FUCE was elected. Rev. Prof. Micahel Mullaney, president of St. Patrick’s College Maynooth (Irland) will take the post of the president for the next three year. From the 2013 the president of the federation was Rev. Prof. Magnin Thierry, rector of Catholic University of Lyon (France).
In the framework of study program “European Humanism in the making” there will be held summer school for the student in the Italy (University of LUMSA), where two students of Sabauni, Khatia Khapava and Mariam Abuashvili will participate in this July.
Sabauni became a member of FUCE last year and since then, it is actively involved in the various events organized by FUCE. The member of assembly discussed the FUCE grant question and according to the decision, three students of Sabauni will get study mobility grant for the next academic year (winter semester).