Statement on Accusations Against European University

Published on 11/02/2022 in
European University in Tbilisi

Recently, the European University in Tbilisi, Georgia, was falsely accused of not meeting educational standards by some agency. The exact misleading accusations were:

  1. This medical school is not on the GMC’s list of accepted universities in Georgia.
  2. The Medicine course at the university was below the 5,500 hours GMC threshold.
  3. The university had its accreditation revoked in the past by the Authorization Board of Institutions of Higher Education in Georgia.

Nino Taliashvili, the university’s rector, has provided evidence and a point-by-point rebuttal on all the accusations.

What is the Medicine Course Program at European University?

The university’s up to date programme is confirmed to currently offer over 5,500 contact hours. Additionally, the European University is recognised and accredited by the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME), the leading authority on educational standards in medicine.

An outdated curriculum from 2014 was misused to damage the reputation of the institution by claiming that the university does not offer enough hours.

As Taliashvili says: “European University's Medical Doctor program was accredited according to the requirements of the WFME, which requires the medical curriculum to meet the medical education standards, including minimum required hours and criteria, and undergoing rigorous evaluations in numerous areas.”

What is the Status of European University’s Accreditation?

The recognition of European University, Georgia is provided by renowned organisations like:
GMC - General Medical Council (UK)
WHO - the World Health Organisation
WFME - the World Federation for Medical Education
WDOMS - the World Directory of Medical Schools
FAIMER - the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research
ECFMG - the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
AMEE - the Association for Medical Education in Europe
AMSE - the Association for Medical Schools in Europe
ADEE - the Association for Dental Education in Europe
EUA - the European University Association

European University Georgia Accreditation and Recognition

Universities usually have a quota of students they can recruit per year. In 2018, the University was so sought after by international students that it filled its student quota for 3 years in advance. As a result, the university mutually agreed with the ministry of education to not recruit for the following 2 years.

If a Georgian university has its accreditation revoked by the national Authorisation Board, it will cease operating immediately. 

However, in 2019: “[The] National Center For Educational Quality Enhancement of Georgia, not only reversed its decision and allowed the University to admit new students, but raised the student quota from 1500 to 3000 students,” Talashvili says.

There is NO GMC "List of Accepted Universities"

The General Medical Council (GMC) of the UK does not have a list of accepted, accredited nor approved universities. The GMC has hundreds of medical schools that they accept worldwide, but they do not provide such a list. They only provide their acceptable criteria.

The accusation was based on a single screenshot used out of context:

The truth about this image

The process of applying with the GMC is by firstly creating an online profile. This is so the graduate doctor provides information about their primary medical qualification. This includes the name of the university the doctor graduated from. Herein, the GMC provides a database of universities that they have had previous applicants from.

This GMC database of universities is not there to indicate whether a university is acceptable for the GMC. The above image simply shows Georgian universities that the GMC had applicants from. This does not mean those doctors were all accepted, only that they filled in the application form.

If a university is not listed, it means the university's graduates have not applied for GMC registration yet. This database does not signify that the university is not accepted.

It is concerning when agencies use the above to prove accreditation or acceptance of a university. This is because the GMC has only “not acceptable” or “may accept” list of qualifications.

Currently, only one Georgian university, New Vision University, is included in the "may accept" list. A medical school is on this list if it "offers courses that lead to qualifications that do not meet the criteria..." Source. There is no other Georgian university on the "not acceptable" nor "may accept" list.

The rector of European University of Tbilisi says regarding the accusations: “Mixing these two different lists (non-existing GMC list of the approved foreign universities, and the existing list of foreign universities whose graduates have applied for recognition of their diplomas) is deceptive.”

European University of Tbilisi in the directory (Update April 5, 2022)

For those who my be interested if the university is listed in the directory of the GMC, a graduate from European University registered successfully with the GMC recently. After he filed for a reg with the General Medical Council, the regulating body added the university as an awarding body of medical qualifications. European University is now listed as an institution on the GMC website by students applying for registration.

European University GMC directory

Additional Considerations

Talashvili goes on to present the national registration of the university and its listing in the World Directory of Medical Schools and the ECFMG recognition. In addition, the rector emphasises that all MD/DMD degrees from The European University receive worldwide recognition, including the UK, EU, USA, Canada, and Australia. 

All accusations are twisted, misrepresented and false - having no grounds. Taliashvili is a realist about such events. The rector recalls that the same "agency," who previously approached the university for partnership and then got rejected, now try to tarnish its name with misinformation.

As Taliashvili says: “Unfortunately, in the competitive world of recruitment, it sometimes happens that some parties use such unethical and unacceptable methods as used against European University. However, we hope that prospective students will focus more on the actual academic values of the European University. We are open to questions and constructive discussion.

Beware of companies who use misinformation to promote their agenda, instead of focusing on students.

At Medlink Students, we focus all our energy on you - the student. We are always trying to find you opportunities by providing you with factual, accurate, and up to date information so you can make an informed decision on what’s best for you.

You can always verify every statement in this article by contacting the relevant authorities, such as the GMC or European University in Tbilisi. Information on GMC regulations was gathered from various communication with the GMC. We encourage you to always contact the GMC yourself when considering medical universities: https://www.gmc-uk.org/contact-us

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