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Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University, better known as Tbilisi State University (TSU), ( ) is a university established on 8 February, 1918 in Tbilisimarker, Georgiamarker. TSU is the oldest university in the whole Caucasus region. Over 35,000 students are enrolled and the total number of faculty and staff (collaborators) is approximately 5,000.

The University has five branches in different regions of Georgia, 6 faculties, approximately 60 scientific-research laboratories and centers, a scientific library (with more than 3,700,000 books and periodicals), 7 museums, publishing house and printing press (newspaper "Tbilisis Universiteti").

Tbilisi University has close contacts with many foreign scientific and educational centres, these are the University of Saarland and Jena (Germany), Emory University, Georgia State University, Bevard, Mount Holyoke and Williams College (USA), Saint Mary's University (Canada), Warsaw and Lodz Uiversities (Poland), Malaga and Salamanca Universities (Spain), Nantes, Paris 8, Paris 13, Grenoble and Toulon Universities (France), Bristol Polytechnical Institute, Brunel and London Universities (Great Britain), Budapest Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary), Bilkent, Trabzon Black Sea and Ankara Universities (Turkey), Palermo, Rome and Sapienza, Piza and Venice Universities (Italy), Athens, Pirueus, Ioanina and Saloniki Universities (Greece), International Centre of Nuclear Physics, Aarhis University (Denmark), Bucharest University (Romania), University of Vienna (Austria), Tehran and Gilan Universities (Iran), Cairo University (Egypt). TSU has relations with Association of European Universities, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and other international organizations.

The main founder of the University was a well-known Georgian historian and academician, Ivane Javakhishvili. Several noted scientists - Giorgi Akhvlediani, Shalva Nutsubidze, Dimitri Uznadze, Grigol Tsereteli, Akaki Shanidze, Andria Razmadze, Ioseb Kipshidze, Petre Melikishvili and Ekvtime Takaishvili were also co-founders. Professor Petre Melikishvili, a well-known Georgian chemist, was chosen the first rector of TSU.

The Rector of TSU since 2006 is Prof. Giorgi Khubua.

Nowadays, TSU includes 6 faculties: Law, Economics and Business, Humanities, Medicine, Social and Political Sciences, Exact and Natural Sciences.[51029]


Tbilisi State University was founded in 1918 owing to the leadership and huge effort of a famous Georgian historian Ivane Javakhishvili and the group of his followers. It was the first and the only educational body of this type in Caucasus Region by that time.

Tbilisi State University.Photo by Paata Vardanashvili

Georgia has an ancient tradition of education, as evidenced by the functioning of the School of Philosophy and Rhetoric of Phazisi in Colchis (IV c.); as well as the setting up of cultural-enlightenment centers in Palestine (V c.), Syria (VI c.), Greece (X-XV cc.) and Bulgaria (XI c.); Gelati and Iqalto Academies in Georgia (XI-XII cc.); However, as a result of political-economic decrease and at last becoming the colony of Russia, there had been no national higher educational Institution in Georgia for the next few centuries.

Right after Georgia became independent and declared itself a national democratic state, one of the first achievements of Georgian people in the beginning of the 20th century was the foundation of Georgian National University in Tbilisi. Afterwards, through the Bolshevik and Communist period, in spite of the forced ideology and fierce censorship, Tbilisi State University managed to maintain national ardour, devotion to public ideals, raised the best representatives of Georgian intelligentsia, many famous scientific schools in mathematics, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, historiography were also established on the University basis. The foundation of Academy of Science of Georgia and many other higher educational institutions was also encouraged by the University.

A new era took start in the University after the collapse of the Soviet Union and re-establishment of independence of Georgia. Together with Christianity, the historical mission of the spiritual care and deepening of national self-consciousness of the country was set as the goals for the University. At the same time a particularly essential objective of the University is to support the development of a democratic society, culture and science, uninterruptible growth of the national level of civilization. That's why even today with adoration and great respect do Georgian people refer to it a Holy Temple of Science.

The University was solemnly opened on 26 January 1918, the day of remembrance of the Georgian King David the Builder. A church in the University garden, named after the King, has been functioning since 5 September 1995. In 1989 the University was named after its founder - Ivane Javakhishvili.

Ivane Javakhishvili founder of the TSU

Petre Melikishvili, a well-known chemist, merited professor, was elected as the first rector of the University. At its commencement, the University had only one faculty - that of philosophy. Ivane Javakhishvili, well-known Georgian historian, delivered the first lecture. At the beginning of 1918 the board of professors and lecturers numbered 18, the student body of the university counted 369 students and 89 free listeners.

Today the number of professors involved in tuition and training amounts to 3275, including 55 academicians and corresponding member of the academy, 595 professors and doctors, 1246 assistant professors and candidates of sciences.

Over 35 thousand students are studying at the University and its 8 regional branches. The very important rearrangements at the University began on 25 April 1994, when the scientific council of the University adopted "The Concepts of University Education"[51030], according to which since the year 1994 the University has entirely transferred to the two-stage form of study (the step-by-step rearrangements were launched in 1992) and moved forward to the integration in the European educational environment.

At the end of the I stage of the reform implemented, in the beginning of the year 2005, the bodies functioning at TSU were: 22 faculties with 184 chairs, 8 branches with 46 faculties, 3 scientific-research and study-scientific institutes, 81 scientific-research laboratories and centers, 161 study laboratories and rooms, clinical hospitals and diagnostic centers, publishing and editorial houses, the library with 3640693 items, 5 dormitories. 95 educational programs were used at the bachelor's course, 194 - at master's studies and 16 - at the single-step tuition.

Numerous universally recognized scientific schools came into being at Tbilisi University: mathematics (Andria Razmadze, Nikoloz Muskhelishvili, Ilia Vekua, Viktor Kupradze, Andro Bitsadze and others), physics (Elepter Andronikashvili, MateMirianashvili, Vagan Mamasakhlisov, Givi Khutsishvili Albert Tavkhelidze and others), psychology (Dimitri Uznadze and others), physiology (Ivane Beritashvili and others). National scholarly schools of Georgian historiography (Ivane Javakhishvili and others), history of literature (Korneli Kekelidze and others), Georgian philosophy (Shalva Nutsubidze and others), study of art (Giorgi Chubinashvili and others), Georgian and Caucasian linguistics (Akaki Shanidze, Giorgi Akhvlediani, Arnold Chikobava and others), Oriental and Classic philology (Grigol Tsereteli, Simon Qaukhchishvili, Giorgi Tsereteli and others) are worth mentioning particularly. Thanks to their scientific activity Kartvelology (Kartvelian Studies) has turned into the international scholarly discipline.

The relevant chairs and scientific research departments serve for preparation of post-graduate students and scientific degree explorers. 26 qualification councils operate for conferring scientific degrees in almost all fields of science.

Medical education was restored at the university in 1994, the tradition of medical education was revived - originally the specialty of medicine was opened at the faculty of biology and medicine, and the faculty of medicine became an independent unit in 2000. The assembly of University clinics was founded, the educational bases of which are distinguished for their powerful material and technical equipment and highly qualified scientific-intellectual potential, the Center for the Management of Health Care and the Department for Continuous Medical Education were opened, the board of trustees of medicine and medical information service were founded. The University diagnostic center provides the health care of the professors and lecturers and collaborators of the University.

A printing press was set up at the University, in 1923 and a publishing-house in 1933. The University Archive was founded in 1933. The scientific edition "The Proceedings of Tbilisi University" has been publishing since 1919. The program "Textbooks for Students" has been functioning since 1996. The University publishes two weekly newspapers "Tbilisis Universiteti" (since 1927) and "Kartuli Universiteti" (since 1998).

Many international conferences and symposia have been held at Tbilisi University. The following are notable: International symposia of psychologists (1979, 1986), symposia on Georgian art (II-1977, IV- 1983, VI- 1989), international symposia on the teaching of the Russian language and literature (1980, 1984, 1988), problems of German literature (1983, 1989), Classical philology (1969, 1975, 1980,1990, 1995, 1996), religion and ethics (1907, international private law (1985), international symposia on Kartvelian Studies (I-1987, II-1988, III-1995).

Caucasian studies is one of the major trends of scholarly research, having inherited rich traditions. "Caucasica", an international scholarly journal, has been published since 1998.

Three international conferences have been held over the recent period on urgent issues such as, "Caucasus in the context of world history" (1996), "Peaceful Caucasus" (1998), "Caucasus at the turn of the millennia".

International conferences dedicated to major problems of the present day have been held at the University: "Caucasus, problems of democratization" (1995), "The law reform in Georgia" (1995), "The University reform in Georgia" (1995), "Hellenistic Studies over the centuries" (2000). Summer schools are regularly held for foreign scientists in Kartvelian studies (Kartvelologists).

The University has the tradition of electing the foreign scientists and public figures for the honorary doctors of Tbilisi State University.


TSU has follwoing six faculties:

Institution and Administration

TSU has no central campus, its buildings are spread over the city. The oldest building is #1 whereas the administration of the University is seated. In the yard of the 1st TSU campus lie the founders of Tbilisi State University, whose names imply establishment and development of various scientific schools in Georgia. The Pantheon of Tbilisi State University is one of the special cultural and historical places.

Board of Representatives

Board of Representatives is University’s representative body, which is elected by the faculties, based on the representation. Senate members are elected separately from the students and the academic personnel in proportion to their number ateach basic structural unit.[51031]

Board of Representatives is elected from within the University on the basis of general, direct and equal elections, by secret ballot. Students are comprising one-third of the entire body of Board. The Board includes a representative from the University’slibrary.

The Board of Representatives is authorized to:

  • (a) Develop University’s charter with the participation of the Academic Council and present said charter to the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia for approval;
  • (b) Develop and approve the University's internal regulations, code of ethics and procedures for disciplinary responsibility;
  • (c) Approve the rule for designing the budget of a University as well as the statutes of structural units;
  • (d) Elect a Speaker of the Board;
  • (e) Upon the proposal of the Academic Council, approve the candidacy for the Chancellor’s office;
  • (f) Upon the proposal of the Chancellor, approve University's budget;
  • (g) Upon the proposal of the Chancellor approve the structure of University's administration;
  • (h) Approve the annual report of the Chancellor;
  • (i) Based on the reasoned proposal of the Academic Council, or on its own initiative, terminate the powers of the Chancellor before his/her term of office expires;
  • (j) Based on the proposal of the Chancellor, approve the support personnel recruitment
procedures as well as terms and amount of remuneration;
  • (k) Upon the proposal of the Academic Council, approve the academic personnel recruitment procedures, terms and amount of remuneration;
  • (l) Upon the nomination of the Academic Council, approve the candidacy for the Head of the Quality Provision Service.
  • (m) Exercise other powers conferred to it by the Georgian legislation.

Academic Council

The Academic Council is the highest representative body of the University. Council is elected by the members of the faculties’academic personnel and those representatives of students’ self-governance who are the members of faculty council, on the basis of direct, free and equal elections, by secret ballot. Only professors may be elected as the members of the Academic Council.

The Academic Council shall:

  • (a) Draft and approve University’s strategic development plans;
  • (b) Upon the proposal of the faculties, approve study and research programs;
  • (c) Promote University integration into the European space as well as creation of the curricula, study and research programs, cooperation between University institutions, mobility and integrated teaching;
  • (d) By the majority vote of its members, elect a chair of the Academic Council – the Rector, based on free and equal elections, by secret ballot;
  • (e) Propose to the Board of Representatives a candidacy for the Chancellor selected by a majority of all its members on the basis of competition;
  • (f) By the majority vote of its members, present to the Board of Representatives a substantiated proposal to terminate the powers of the Chancellor before his /her term of office expires;
  • (g) Within the period of one month following the dismissal of the Chancellor, propose to the Board of Representatives a new candidacy for this office;
  • (h) Take part in the discussions of the Board of Representatives regarding the higher education institution charter, statutes of structural units, budget and the annual report of the Chancellor;
  • (i) In the beginning of a new academic year, upon the proposal of the faculty councils, approve coefficients for unified national examinations as well as number of students to be enrolled at each faculty;
  • (j) Define procedures for recognition of academic degrees awarded by other higher education institutions;
  • (k) Approve the dissertation council statutes upon the proposal of faculty councils;
  • (l) Propose to the Board of Representatives for approval a candidacy for the head of the higher education institution’s Quality Provision Service;
  • (m)Present the annual report to the Board of Representatives;
  • (o) Upon the proposal of a faculty, make decision on awarding a degree of Honorary Doctor;
  • (p) Elect the heads of the University’s library;


The Rector is the highest academic authority of a University, serves as a chair of the Academic Council, represents the University in academic and research spheres both domestically and internationally and is entitled to enter intoagreements and make deals on behalf of the University. The Rector is elected by the majority vote of Academic Council members, through secret ballot. The Rector’s term of office


The Chancellor is the highest administrative manager at the University in the sphere of financial issues, material and human resources and represents the institution in financial and economic relationships.

The Chancellor is nominated by the Academic Council and approved by the Board of Representatives, through secret ballot. The Academic Council may nominate the same person only twice. The term of office of the Chancellor is four years.


The museums of History, Georgian Emigration, Mineralogy, Geology and Paleontology, Geography, Zoology and Botany are functioning at Tbilisi State University.

The five dormitories of Tbilisi State University can accommodate up to 2200 living rooms.

The University has eight branches all over the country(Georgiamarker) - in Sukhumi, Meskheti, Ozurgeti, Sighnaghi (kakheti), Zugdidi, Qvemo Qartli (Marneuli), Javakheti and Poti.

The university schools, namely the Ivane Javakhishvili school N53, the N. Muskhelishvili school N55, prof. T. Georgia physical-mathematical boarding school, Tbilisi lyceum, Rustavi gymnasium, Gurjaani college and Khobi school function successfully.

List of Rectors

  • Petre Melikishvili - 1918/I - 1919/XII
  • Ivane Javakhishvili - 1919/XII -1926/VI
  • Tedo Ghlonti - 1926/IX - 1928/IX
  • Malakia Toroshelidze - 1928/IX - 1930/IX
  • Ivane Vashakmadze - 1930/I - 1931/IX
  • Aleksandre Erkomaishvili - 1931/X - 1932/XII
  • Levan Aghniashvili - 1933/IV - 1935/VI
  • Karlo Oragvelidze - 1935/VI - 1937/VI
  • Giorgi Kiknadze - 1937/VII - 1938/IX
  • Davit Kipshidze - 1938/X - 1942/II
  • Aleksandre Janelidze - 1942/II - 1945/VII
  • Nikoloz Ketskhoveli - 1945/VII - 1953/VI
  • Ilia Vekua - 1953/VII - 1953/IX, 1966/IV - 1972/IV
  • Ermile Burchuladze - 1953/IX - 1954/IX
  • Victor Kupradze - 1954/IX - 1958/III
  • Giorgi Dzotsenidze - 1958/IV - 1959/III
  • Evgeni Kharadze - 1959/III - 1966/III
  • Davit Chkhikvishvili - 1972/V - 1980/II
  • Vazha Okujava - 1980/III - 1985/IX
  • Nodar Amaghlobeli - 1985/IX - 1991/VIII
  • Tamaz Gamkrelidze - 1991/VIII - 1991/IX
  • Otar Japaridze - 1991/IX - 1991/X
  • Roin Metreveli - 1991/X - 2004/X
  • Rusudan Lortkipanidze - 2004/XII-2006/IV
  • Giorgi Khubua - 2006/IV - present


Prime Ministers

Speakers of the Parliament


Noted faculty


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