Election of the Technical University rector for the third term contradicts Georgian Law - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

Election of the Technical University rector for the third term contradicts Georgian Law

28 April, 2016


Lecturers at the Georgian Technical University have gone on a hunger strike protesting the election of Archil Prangishvili as university rector for a third term. Transparency International Georgia believes that the lecturers’ protest is legally justified.

In January 2016, Archil Prangishvili was elected as rector of the Technical University for the third time. In 2008-2009 he served as the acting rector, after which he was elected as the rector three times in a row in 2009, 2012 and 2016.

The Minister of Education stated that considering multiple changes to the education legislation and legal status of the university over the past several years the ministry’s probe into the elections did not find any violations of the law.

The legal status of the university did change several times in recent years. According to a Government resolution issued in 2011 [1], the legal entity of public law Georgian Technical University was reorganized into a non-profit (non-commercial) legal entity. After this, another Government resolution issued in 2013 [2] reversed the change. However, no changes were made to the Law on Higher Education, which prohibits heads (rectors) of state higher education institutions from being elected for a third term.

Georgian Technical University is, in fact, a state university. Even in the period from 2011 until 2013, when the university held the legal status of non-profit (non-commercial) legal entity, it was still registered as being founded by the Government of Georgia. Therefore, Archil Prangishvili’s election as a rector of a state university for the third term violates the Law on Higher Education. In other words, Prangishvili’s activities as a rector are illegitimate.

The legal provision prohibiting the election of a rector for more than two terms existed during all three elections won by Prangishvili. The same provision was also present in the Technical University Statute. Therefore, the argument presented by the Technical University and the Ministry of Education that the change in legal status had activated new election regulations is groundless. The presented argument would suggest that a future change in legal status would enable Archil Prangishvili to serve another two terms as a university rector.

The reasoning behind the legal limit of two terms for a university rector is to prevent the same person from running a university indefinitely, ensure its autonomy and participation of students and the academic staff in the decision-making process. This reasoning remains unchanged regardless of the legal status of a university. Therefore, justifying Archil Prangisvili’s third term with the change in university legal status contradicts the Law on Higher Education.

The legality of the elections in the Technical University is currently being discussed by Tbilisi City Court. Until the court makes its final decision, we call on the Ministry of Education to:

  • Thoroughly examine the legality of the election of the Technical University rector for the third consecutive term.
  • Act as a mediator of negotiations between the academic staff and university administration for the purpose of diffusing tensions.


[1] Government Resolution № 411 on the Reorganization of the Legal Entity of Public Law Georgian Technical University, November 4, 2011.

[2] Government Resolution №190 on the Transformation (Reorganization) of the Non-Profit (Non-Commercial) Legal Entity Georgian Technical University (Identification Code - 211349192), July 29, 2013.