Fatema Z. Sumar, Regional Deputy Vice President for Europe, Asia, Pacific and Latin America in the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Department of Compact Operations is visiting Georgia to participate in San Diego State University’s second Convocation ceremony.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has a singular mandate to improve lives around the world: to reduce poverty through economic growth. In Georgia, MCC is working with the Government of Georgia to achieve this mission through strategic investments to strengthen the Georgian education sector. Thanks to this $140 million US government investment, Georgians will be ready to enter the labor market with in-demand skills, and help grow the Georgian economy.
MCC is working with MCA-Georgia to implement education projects at the general, technical/professional, and higher education levels in science and engineering disciplines. In higher education, MCC is funding a unique partnership between San Diego State University and the Government of Georgia to deliver science and engineering bachelor’s degreesin partnership with TSU, GTU and ISU.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation continues its activities with significant achievements three years into the five-year program. CBW had an interview with Ms. Sumar about current projects and achievements:
Could you tell us the purpose of your visit in Georgia?
I’m excited to be back in Tbilisi, Georgia today and celebrate the start of the school year for a third group of more than 200 incoming students atSan Diego State University in Georgia, doubling the number of Georgian and international students enrolled at SDSU since enrollment began in 2015. Students will pursue bachelor’s degrees chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, computer engineering, and civil and construction engineering, using state-of-the-art facilities and equipment purchased by the US government, with American-trained professors and a curriculum identical to SDSU’s in San Diego. We are looking forward to share the real success we’ve had in San Diego State University that supports advancing critical fields and STEM education in Georgia.
Which other fields do you consider as critical, that need to be developed in Georgia?
We want to support knowledge economy, in order for Georgia to become competitive not just in the region but also globally. Therefore, we are investing in students so that they have critical skills in the science and engineering fields, key growth sectors in Georgia. I am pleased to see that the Georgian private sector is partnering with us to support students through scholarships and internships, so that they acquire relevant job skills while they are studying at SDSU. These partnerships and the SDSU program will long continue past the MCC Compact term, which concludes in 2019.
What are the results of training Georgian faculty?
As part of MCC’s partnership with SDSU and the Georgian government, we are working very closely not just to enroll Georgian and international students in these programs but also Georgian faculty focused in STEM areas. Today we’ve trained over 50 Georgian faculty who are partnered with SDSU San Diego-based faculty to deliver courses to students in Tbilisi We’ve also worked on rehabilitation of modern laboratory spaces at our three partner universities. Major lab refurbishment works are complete, and construction at Ilia State University is underway for the new building which will be opened next year.
Thank you very much!