The Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI) responds to the recent alarming decision of the rector of Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University (BSU), by which the university started administrative proceedings against foreign students of the Faculty of Exact Science and Education to terminate their student status. By this decision, more than 150 Indian students, who can not arrive in Georgia due to the pandemic and the existing restriction on travel from India, will be suspended student status. Government restrictions have had a direct impact on the condition of students.
According to the resolution of the Academic Council of the University of April 20, 2021, it has been determined that only those students of BSU that are present in Georgia should be allowed in the distance learning process. According to the same resolution, those students who fail to appear in the office of the Dean of the Faculty on May 13-14, 2021, in order to sign the academic registration certificate, will be subject to administrative proceedings for suspension of student status. Afterwards, the order was issued by the BSU rector and the university launched administrative proceedings to terminate students’ status of those students who did not go to the dean’s office on 13-14 May 2021 to sign the registration form for the 2020-2021 spring semester.
The current decision of the University lacks objective and rational reasoning. It offers the students online learning, however, requires them to be present in Georgia and to turn up at the dean’s office to sign the registration paper. BSU does not take into consideration the clearly objective circumstances that due to the harsh pandemic situation and the strict restrictions for students to travel from India to Georgia, they are unable to arrive in Georgia to sign the papers on time. The BSU does not allow the students to undergo registration online. The decision of the University is ungrounded and discriminatory.
It must be noted, that on 15 April 2021 new restrictions were enacted by the Government of Georgia, introducing differential rules for Indian students on arrival to Georgia. The amendment stipulates that the students traveling from the Republic of India will be able to enter Georgia only by charter flights. Hence, beyond the additional financial burden, the Indian students are unable to travel to Georgia freely at any time desired by them.
It is even more alarming that the BSU issued the mentioned order after the Government of Georgia introduced new strict rules on the travel for students from India to Georgia.
We call on,
The Batumi State University to reconsider its policy on foreign students and change them with proportional and non-discriminatory decisions. To immediately revoke its decision about the termination of student status for Indian students. In case of necessity of such procedures, to allow the students to undergo the registration online.
The Ministry of Education and Science, to immediately study the decisions of the Batumi State University regarding the foreign students and to make adequate and timely responses.
The Inter-Agency Coordination Council of the Government, created for the management of pandemic-related issues, to study the effect of the set regulations on various groups and to ensure their non-discriminatory application. To study the needs of foreign students and issue relevant resolutions.
 Resolution of the Academic Council of the University of April 20, 2021, N06-01/36 on the amendments to the resolution of the Academic Council of the University of September 9, 2020, N06-01/59.