The SAT on Georgia's mind

Students in Georgia (the ex-USSR one) will take a standardized exam, a version of the SAT to qualify for university admissions. The exam replaces the old system: corruption.

In Georgia, pressure to attend university is high, and students collectively pay an estimated $10 million a year in bribes, the equivalent of the Ministry of Education’s annual budget. “They are interested in diplomas, not knowledge,” says another student, 16-year-old Mikheil Benidze.

As a result, undereducated graduates with little more than paper degrees descend on the job market each year, with little hope of finding work. According to a recent Soros poll, only 3 percent of graduates of Tbilisi State University, Georgia’s top public university, land jobs.

So far, 32,000 students have registered for the test; “Georgia’s Ministry of Education says it is braced for formal complaints from about 30,000 of them,” reports the Christian Science Monitor.

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