Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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George Sharvashidze and Voldemar Tomusk -- Knowledge Networks and Empowering Publics

Friday, September 3, 2010

3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

Knowledge Networks and Empowering Publics

As the Open Society Foundation has pursued its mission of building “vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens,” its International Higher Education Support Program has built strong international networks involving scholars from Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Mongolia. The program has also been building alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. New initiatives are extending into Africa and Nepal and addressing issues of climate change.

Voldemar Tomusk, deputy director of the program, and George Sharvashidze, who directs its academic fellowships, will be at Brown this week to discuss the creation and impact of such knowledge networks. 

George Sharvashidze has been director of the Academic Fellowship Program at the Open Society Institute International Higher Education Support Program (HESP) since 2003. Prior to joining HESP he served as a President of the International Institute for Education Policy, Management and Planning; International Task Force leader at the Georgian Higher Education Reform Project; First Deputy and Deputy Minister of Education of Georgia; and Head of the Foreign Affairs Department at the Georgian Ministry of Education. He was also a senior scientific worker at Tbilisi State University, teacher at gymnasium.

Sharvashidze holds a PhD in the field of higher education management. Recent publications include Private Higher Education in Georgia (UNESCO, IIEP, Paris, 2005) and Educational Reform, Curriculum Change, and Teacher Education in Georgia (UNESCO, IBE, Geneva, 2004).

Voldemar Tomusk is the deputy director of Open Society Institute's Higher Education Support Program (HESP), based in London, UK. He holds a doctoral degree in Social Sciences in Sociology of Education from the University of Turku, Finland and a postgraduate certificate in European Studies from the Central European University, Prague. Prior to joining Open Society Foundation in 1995 he served as head of the Higher Education Division and acting director of Higher Education and Research in the Estonian Ministry of Education. He is the author of a few dozen papers on higher education and higher education reforms. His recent works include a book, The Open World and Closed Societies: Essays on Higher Education Reforms "in Transition" (2004), and an edited volume, Creating the European Area of Higher Education: Voices from the Periphery (2006). 

Location: Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street.
Reception to follow.