Tracing regional inequalities in the Georgian education system (Part 1)
It has been almost ten years since Unified Entry Examinations (UEE) for university admissions were introduced in Georgia, and the introduction of UEE has been named by the World Bank as one of the most successful reforms implemented since the Rose Revolution. Previously, university admissions were directly administered by the higher educational institutions, and entrance exams were often the site of highly corrupt practices. UEE ultimately led to the complete elimination of corruption and nepotism from the admissions process.
Corruption aside, fair and exclusively merit-based UEE were expected to give a better chance to applicants from outside Tbilisi, including representatives of ethnic minorities, to enroll in the best educational institutions in Georgia. Some, largely unsystematic evidence, however, suggests that this expectation has not been met. While at present, we do not possess longitudinal data which would enable us to draw comparisons between the situation before and after the reform, we do have data to look at how admitted applicants from different regions of Georgia performed on the 2014 exams. The publicly available 2014 UEE database contains scores for all exam takers (about 26,000 individuals) along with basic demographic data about them, such as date of birth, gender, and municipality where the applicant was registered at the time of exam. It should be noted that the applicants’ place of registration does not necessarily accurately reflect their actual place of residence in Georgia, since no one is obliged by law to live in their place of registration. This is especially true for IDPs, who despite being registered in Abkhazia or South Ossetia, in fact generally reside in areas controlled by Georgia, mainly in Tbilisi (40% of the whole IDP population) and Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti (32%). However, registration data still makes sense as many people in Georgia, especially the youth graduating secondary schools, generally live in their place of registration.
The map below displays the distribution of UEE scores by applicants’ municipality in 2014. The municipalities on the map below have been assigned a color based on the standard deviation of the applicants’ mean scores. Standard deviation indicates how distant a particular data point, an exam score in this instance, is from the mean. It also “quantifies the amount of variation or dispersion of a set of data values.” On the map, negative standard deviations indicate values less than the national mean, while positive ones indicate values above the national mean.
Looking at the regional distribution of mean exam scores on the map above, a number of patterns can be observed. High and low scores are concentrated territorially and form distinct geographic patterns. Applicants from the capital and large urban areas (Kutaisi, Batumi, Rustavi, Poti) on average have received the highest scores. Another area of concentration of high scores can be observed in Kakheti. The performance of representatives of municipalities from the central-western parts of Georgia was slightly worse (Racha-Lechkhumi, eastern municipalities of Imereti, as well as Khashuri and Gori). Interestingly enough, IDP contestants’ results are also quite high, especially those registered in Sukhumi municipality.
Interview by Dustin Gilbreath
By: Dustin Gilbreath
CRRC’s third annual Methodological Conference: Transformations in the South Caucasus and its Neighbourhood
[Note: Social Science in the Caucasus is publishing the work of six young researchers who entered CRRC-Georgia’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) in February 2015. This is the third blog post in the series. Click here to see the first and second blog posts in the series.]
[Note: Social Science in the Caucasus is publishing the work of six young researchers who entered CRRC-Georgia’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) in February 2015. This is the second blog post in the series. Click here to see the first blog post.]
CRRC’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) was launched in 2009 as a Carnegie Corporation initiative within the CRRC, with the goal of providing on-the-job training opportunities in applied research for young social scientists.
In August 2012 CRRC launched the study of Georgia’s Workforce Development system, commissioned by the World Bank. Document review and key informant interviews have been used as main research methods in this study. On 19th of December, the World Bank office in Tbilisi hosted a workshop which aimed at presenting and validating the preliminary finding...
As Georgians prepare for parliamentary elections set for October 1, 2012, political parties have entered the final stage of the pre-elections race. One of the important attributes of active citizenship and civic engagement is voting in elections. This blog explores Georgians’ attitudes toward voting in elections based on age group and gender differences. In this r...
By Till Bruckner
By Nino Zubashvili
By Dustin Gilbreath
In terms of the business findings, CRRC's Media Survey (undertaken in September/October 2009) generated extensive data that is available to help media make good business decisions. One recent presentation, summarized here, focused on showing the diversity of data that is available.
Food Safety in Georgia: views from retailers, producers and consumers in Tbilisi and Samtskhe-Javakheti
Book Review | The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict and Nationhood in the Caucasus | Christoph Zürcher
Brookings Index of Regime Weakness | State Rebuilding or State Collapse in the Caucasus | The Annals of Data
Here are some basic tips and tricks we found useful.