Rector's Welcome Speech
It is an absolute honor and a big responsibility for me to lead the Business and Technology University. In a very short time BTU has become very successful and dynamic university in Georgia. There are number of reasons that contributed to this success - adopting technology based approaches in the learning process, blended teaching and learning methods, promoting creativity and innovation being some of it. But above all it was achieved by the highly motivated staff of BTU and I am delighted to work with this team who made this success possible. We will build on this success and continue to provide high quality education, promote innovation and be dynamic and fast growing. My goal as the Rector is to continue building the University’s capacity, academic reputation and research capability. Development of the University will be based on best international practices. We will work with our international partners to strengthen BTU’s academic and research potential and raise our international profile. The role of universities is vital in a country's economic development. All developed economies have a huge emphasis on the role played by universities in development terms. Education is important in its own right but experience shows that it is a key driver of economic and social development. At this stage of its development Georgia particularly needs to concentrate on knowledge intensive practices in industry. Georgian universities need to play their part in this process. BTU will make its important contribution and play a role in driving national policy and strategy in this area. University will remain focused on close interaction with the enterprise sector. This is a challenging and interesting process for the University itself. Myself and the whole team are happy to take up this challenge and feel that we will play a significant role in the country's development. That process will largely depend on the development of its current cohort of University students. BTU will continue to attract excellent students who will have a great social, cultural, educational and training experience. The University's main priority will be to produce world class, internationally competitive graduates. These graduates will be equipped with the knowledge and skill sets that will guarantee their employability either at home or abroad. On the other hand, the entrepreneurial spirit and practical experience gained here may help them set up their own creative and innovative enterprises that will underpin Georgia’s international economic competitiveness. I see my move to BTU as particularly fitting. I have worked in the University of Limerick (UL) since 1998 first as a PhD student and then as part of the University's academic staff. I have witnessed how UL has played a major part in the evolution of university level education in Ireland and participated in national and international education research projects on behalf of UL that promote strong links between the University and enterprise to their mutual benefit. This, combined with other measures, has resulted in Ireland being the fastest growing economy in the EU. There is a strong resemblance between how UL has become a vital part of Ireland's learning and development infrastructure and BTU’s similar goals and aspirations for Georgia. All this experience and expertise will be used to help BTU play its integral part in Georgia’s transition to knowledge economy and knowledge society. My aspiration, working with the staff of BTU, is that nationally the University will become a major powerhouse in this process and be recognized internationally as a successful, prestigious European university.