Foreign Students Contribute 260 Million GEL to Georgian Universities in 2022-2023 Academic Year
Study reveals significant growth in foreign student enrollment and financial contributions to Georgian higher education.
A recent study conducted by PMC has shown that foreign students have paid a total of 260 million GEL to Georgian schools during the 2022-2023 academic year. This marks a substantial increase from the 14 million GEL paid in the 2013-2014 academic year.
The study examines the dynamics of foreign students and foreign language educational programs in Georgia. It reveals that the number of foreign students in the country has risen significantly in recent years, from 3,508 students from 27 countries in 2013-2014 to 20,690 students from 80 countries in 2022-2023. The average annual growth rate during this period was 22.3%.
The report also notes that foreign language educational programs have become less diversified over the years, with a growing demand for medical educational programs. This trend is primarily attributed to the increasing number of Indian students, who predominantly enroll in medical programs.
As the number of foreign students has grown, so too has the number of foreign language study programs in Georgian universities. From 2013-2014 to 2022-2023, the number of such programs increased from 61 to 183, with medical programs leading the way.
During this period, the average fee for educational programs attended by foreign students rose from 4,300 GEL to 9,400 GEL, with an annual average fee growth rate of 9%. While tuition fees in GEL increased from 2013 to 2021, fees in US dollars remained stable, indicating that the rise in GEL fees was primarily due to currency devaluation.
The total amount of tuition fees paid by foreign students increased from 14 million GEL in 2013-2014 to 260 million GEL in 2022-2023, with an average annual growth rate of 39%. However, the increase was less pronounced in US dollars than in GEL.
The study also found that the share of tuition fees paid by foreign students in Georgia's education sector GDP increased from 1.1% in 2013-2014 to 7.3% in 2021-2022. In terms of overall GDP, the share grew from 0.05% to 0.30% during the same period.
PMC cautions that the growing homogeneity of foreign students' interests in medical programs may present challenges in the future. The organization suggests that Georgian higher education institutions should work to attract students from a more diverse range of countries and academic fields beyond medicine.