History of Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University
Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University is an important educational, scientific and cultural center of our country. It has a 75-year-long history.
The establishment and development of the educational system in Adjara was a long-time endeavor of the Georgian community. In 1893 the issue was raised to open a Boys’ Gymnasium in Batumi. On 26-27 June, 1893 the Municipality of the city granted 2 623, 95 sq/m area of land for the Boys’ Gymnasium at the seaside. The project was designed by a military engineer Sedelnikov. The first floor of the building allocated a gym while the second floor contained the church, assembly hall, eight classrooms, art classroom, physics study-room, laboratory and a library. The Boys’ Gymnasium started functioning in July, 1897. On 26 September, 1900 it became possible to open a Women’s Gymnasium as well. Later, by 1923, a Pedagogical Institute was founded in the building of former Women’s Gymnasium (present Public School №2) which afterwards turned into a Pedagogical College. It used to prepare the first stage school teachers.
In the building of the Boys’ Gymnasium in 1935 a 2-year Teacher’s Institute was opened with 4 faculties: Georgian Language and Literature, Physics and Mathematics, History, Natural Sciences and Geography. To this the faculty of Physical Education was added in 1936 and a faculty of Russian Language and Literature – in 1938. In 1938 the Institute was named after Shota Rustaveli.
The first director of the Teachers’ Institute was Khusein Nakaidze. A significant assistance was rendered to the Institute in providing the scientific personnel by other higher educational institutions of Georgia, first and foremost – Tbilisi State University. The following outstanding representatives of the Georgian academia conducted fruitful activities within the walls of the Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University (that time Teachers’ Institute): Giorgi Akhvlediani, Giorgi Tsereteli, Iase Tsintsadze, Sargis Kakabadze, Simon Kaukhchishvili, Giorgi Tavzishvili, Razhden Khutsishvili, Dimitri Gedevanishvili, Giorgi Javakhishvili, Vukol Beridze, Shota Dzidziguri and others. It is owing to them as well that the newly established higher institution soon gained the reputation – a system of teaching and research activities was formed and the preparation of local academic staff took its beginnings – by 1943 there were 5 candidates of sciences at the Institute already.
In July 1935 the preparatory courses were created that particularly fostered the attraction of high school applicants from Adjara highlands. According to the statistics 600 school leavers submitted applications to the Institute in the first year; 219 applicants were admitted to the Institute.
In June 1945 a Pedagogical Institute was founded on the basis of Batumi Teachers’ Institute that was followed by reconstruction process and improvement of the facilities and equipment. In 1956 the renovated building entered into exploitation. However, it was not sufficient for the growth of the Institute and in 1977 the construction of a new 5-storeyed building began that was finished in 1982.
The collapse of the Soviet Empire and Georgia’s fight for independence made it possible to realize the wish of great Ivane Javakhishvili who said: “If there is to be another university in Georgia, it should be in Batumi.”
By the Decision №453, 3 September, 1990 of the Cabinet of Ministries of Georgia Batumi State University was established on the basis of Batumi Pedagogical Institute. After this transformation apart from special faculty chairs there began functioning 9 university chairs at the higher education institution. The number of specialties increased – the faculties of law, economics and medicine were created. As a result of the educational reform in the country the university was transferred to a two-cycle teaching: Bachelor and Master Levels were created. Post-graduate studies also were functioning for certain specialties.
In accordance with the Decree №37, 23 February, 2006 of the Georgian Government on the basis of reorganization and unification of the Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University, Batumi Institute of Art, Batumi Zakaria Paliashvili State Conservatory, Batumi Institute of Aviation, Batumi Institute of Agrarian Biotechnologies and Business, Scientific-Research Institute of Membrane Technologies and Batumi Agricultural Institute was founded the “Legal Entity of Public Law – Shota Rustaveli State University”. It represents the accredited higher educational institution in accordance with the Decree №103/a, 27 October, 2006 of the National Accreditation Center.
By the Decree №176, 26 September, 2009 of the Georgian Government the LEPL Batumi Botanical Garden was joined to the University, and by the Decree №185, 9 July, 2010 of the Georgian Government – Niko Berdzenishvili Research Institute and Institute of Phytopathology.
In accordance with the Decision №16 and №17, 17 February, 2011 of the RSU Academic Council a Scientific Center was established which comprised Niko Berdzenishvili Humanities and Social Sciences direction, direction of Membrane Technologies and direction of Phytopathology.
Shota Rustaveli State University comprises 5 faculties: Education and Sciences; Social Sciences, Business and Law; Agrarian Technologies and Ecology; Tourism; and Engineering Technologies. It also embraces the Research Institutes of Kartvelian Studies, Biodiversity, Phytopathology, Membrane Technologies and Niko Berdzenishvili Scientific Research Institutes. At present about 5 000 students study at the vocational, Bachelor, Master and Doctoral programs.
The facilities and equipment of the Shota Rustaveli State University have been increasing and improving step-by-step, number of students increasing, teaching programs improving, new specialties introduced, qualified staff prepared. The teaching and research processes involve 244 professors, 55 researchers and 387 visiting professors.
In 2011 the university successfully passed authorization and accreditation. RSU offers wide range of options to students at all the three stages of education: there are about 42 vocational, 43 Bachelor’s, 23 Master’s, 8 doctoral and 2 single-level programs. The University preserves its traditional, fundamental fields and at the same time implements and develops new directions in response to the modern demands and requirements. Modern teachings methodologies including on-line learning is also widely used here.
The academic potential, traditions and the geographical location of Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University determine the priorities of its scientific-research activities. The academic and scientific personnel of the University are successfully engaged into the directions of Natural Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, Law, Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Engineering, Technologies, Business and Public health as well as agricultural fields.
Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University is a multi-functional educational and scientific institution where a unified space of academic and professional education and research is created with the cooperation of students, professors, teachers and researchers. A number of scientific-research projects of international and national significance have been accomplished on the university base.
The university has close partnership relations with the leading higher educational institutions within and outside the country. RSU is considered a desirable host for the international scientific conferences and symposia held in various fields of science. Apart from this, the academic and scientific faculty of the university actively participates in scientific conferences and exchange programs in different countries of the world.
The project “Batumi – A University City” – gained its topicality and has offered Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University more prospects of development.