On 3 December 2010, the Heinrich Boell Foundation South Caucasus Regional Office together with its partner organization the Center for Regional Development and Initiatives hosted a public debate dedicated to the role of the Telavi State University after Iakob Gogebashvili in the development of civil society in Kakheti. The debate was organized at the building of the Telavi State University (TSU).
The debate was moderated by Levan Aleksishvili, the Executive Director of Gurdjaani TV Broacasting Company.
The main speakers were:
- Malkhaz Zirekidze, Associate Professor, Dean, Faculty of Humanities, TSU;
- Nelly Tskitishvili, Ph.D., Head of the Public Relations Unit, TSU;
- Maya Mamulashvili, Founder of the newspaper "Voice of Kakheti (Kahetis Khma).
The public debate was attended by lecturers and students of the TSU, representatives of non-governmental sector, local authorities and political parties operating in the Kakheti region.
Malkhaz Zirekidze highlighted that the TSU has close relations with many European and Baltic universities. These relationships play a significant role for the development of local civil society in Kakheti. The main purpose of the cooperation is to transfer European knowledge and experience into the Georgian context. Furthermore, the TSU has close cooperation with the non-university sector of the region: It often hosts various meetings with regional non-governmental organizations.
Maya Mamulashvili underlined the need to increase students’ participation in the management of the university. She also encouraged students to get involved in various social activities taking place at the university.
Levan Aleksishvili talked on the important role of the TSU in the formation and development of civil society in the region and noted that such debates will undoubtedly contribute to strengthening the role of the university in the process of raising civic culture and social responsibility in the region, which is a prerequisite for the development of viable civil society.