Celebrations in Kutaisi
On October 19-21, a delegation from the Silesian University of Technology (SUT) visited Georgia. The formal reason for this visit was an invitation to participate in the 90th anniversary of Akaki Tsereteli State University in Kutaisi (ATSU) transferred to the rector of the SUT prof. Arkadiusz Mężyk. On his instructions, the SUT delegation was headed by vice-rector prof. Bogusław Łazarz, together with the rector's plenipotentiary, prof. Aleksander Sładkowski, who also represented the SUT. Our universities are connected by many years of fruitful cooperation in the field of education and science. Scientists and university teachers participate in joint conferences and publish joint scientific papers. There is a signed academic cooperation agreement (MoU) between the universities. Recently, a double degree agreement was signed, which opens the opportunity for Georgian students to obtain a European diploma. This fact is to some extent symbolic for the residents of Kutaisi, the oldest city in Georgia (over 3 thousand years old), which is divided by the Rioni River into European and Asian parts.
On the first day of the anniversary, ATSU rector dr. Shalva Kirtadze presented awards to the oldest honored employees of the university. A gala concert dedicated to the anniversary took place in the university assembly hall. This celebration was also attended by delegations from Poland, Uzbekistan, France, Greece, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan, who presented the rector of ATSU with memorable gifts from their universities.
Vice-rector of the SUT prof. Bogusław Łazarz conveys congratulations on behalf of rector of the SUT prof. Arkadiusz Mężyk. From left to right: rector of the ATSU dr. Shalva Kirtadze, vice-rector of the SUT Prof. Bogusław Łazarz, rector's plenipotentiary of the SUT prof. Aleksander Sładkowski
Despite the solemn nature of the first day of the anniversary, the main events took place on the second day, October 20. On this day, representatives of 22 Georgian universities, employees of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia headed by Minister Giorgi Amilakhvari, representatives of many enterprises and organizations, heads of the local regional administration and the city of Kutaisi came to congratulate the heroes of the day. These ceremonial events took place on the porch of the ATSU administrative building, and then, after a relatively short official reception, a march of the ATSU teachers, students, and guests took place through the city streets to the Georgian Kutaisi Theater named after Lado Meskhishvili.
Ceremonial march through the streets of Kutaisi. From right to left in the first row: dr. Jumber Chogovadze, dr. Pridon Gogiashvili, prof. Bogusław Łazarz
Many people completely filled the theater, where the concert, prepared by the ATSU teachers and students, took place at the beginning. After this, the minister addressed the university staff with congratulations, who in his short speech noted the merits of the university, where over the course of 90 years many specialists have been trained to occupy key positions in the national economy of Georgia. Metropolitan of Kutaisi and Gaenat Ioane Gamrekeli was warmly greeted by the participants of the solemn meeting. At the end of the ceremonial meeting, rector of the ATSU dr. Shalva Kirtadze announced that, according to the recommendation of the Faculty of Engineering, on October 5, 2023, the ATSU Academic Council decided to assign the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of ATSU to prof. Aleksander Sładkowski. In connection with the above, professor A. Sładkowski was awarded the corresponding diploma and toga of the Honorary Doctor of the ATSU.
Honorary Doctorate Diploma of the ATSU
The Council resolution noted that the honorary title is awarded “in recognition of his special contribution in institutional development and enhancement of the internationalization of Akaki Tsereteli State University and long-standing fruitful cooperation with the university.” In response, prof. A. Sładkowski thanked the ATSU employees and, as a gift for the ATSU Library, presented the rector with 3 monographs that were published in recent years by the Springer Publishing House, edited and authorship by A. Sładkowski.
Prof. A. Sładkowski hands over monographs published by Springer Publishing House to rector Sh. Kirtadze for the ATSU Library
Despite the busy program of the visit, the Polish delegation visited another university with which the SUT cooperates. This university is the Maritime Academy in Batumi. An agreement on academic cooperation was also signed with this institution. This happened before the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, this event significantly prevented the expansion of cooperation, and the purpose of the visit was to restore ties. Negotiations took place with leaders of the Maritime Academy, in which the ATSU staff also took part.
Meeting of representatives of three universities in Batumi
In addition to official meetings, the Polish delegation was able to get acquainted with the history, culture and nature of Western Georgia by visiting the Kutaisi State Historical Museum named after Niko Berdzenishvili and the Prometheus Cave near Tskhaltubo.
Visit to the Kutaisi State Historical Museum
In conclusion, it should be noted that this visit contributed to the further strengthening of the SUT’s cooperation with Georgian universities, since in addition to the above meetings with the leadership of the ATSU and the Maritime Academy in Batumi, meetings were held with the leaders of other universities who participated in the official celebrations.