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The Class of 2021: online graduation for EU-funded scholars as Eastern Partnership European School wraps up extraordinary year

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On 22 June, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) European School programme proudly marked the graduation of its second cohort of students from the six EaP countries in a virtual ceremony hosted by the New School – International School of Georgia.

The students, their parents and the Faculty were joined by Mikheil Chkhenkeli, Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Lawrence Meredith, Director Neighbourhood East and Institution Building DG NEAR, and Grete Faremo, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNOPS, as well as other dignitaries. Together, they celebrate the successful completion of studies in the extraordinary and tough times of the global pandemic.

The Class of 2021 of the scholarship programme comprises 34 students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. All students, among them 24 girls, successfully graduated with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and will pursue their higher education studies in the universities of Europe, the United States and their home countries. Thirty per cent of the graduates have received full or partial scholarships from well-known universities globally and will join their peers in Spain, The Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Belgium, Estonia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Turkey, United States and Canada. 

The success of today’s graduating class is also a lesson in resilience and determination. You ‘went digital’ and embraced the chance to learn from the difficulties you had to face. You showed dedication and enthusiasm. The New School has helped you grow personally and become more independent while shaping your own future,” said Lawrence Meredith, Director Neighbourhood East and Institution Building, DG NEAR, in his opening speech at the graduation ceremony.

Since the launch of the scholarship programme in 2018, 105 students from different urban and rural cities of the six Eastern European countries have been awarded with the EU-funded full two-year scholarship to study for the IB Diploma Programme. By 2021, the European School has a total of 64 students from two cohorts, 44 girls and 20 boys, who have graduated with the IB Diploma, pursuing careers in a diversity of areas such as Economics, Biochemical Engineering, Physics, Social Sciences, Arts and Culture, Communications and Media, International Relations and Global Affairs, Medicine, Law, Liberal Arts and Computer Sciences. Another group of 40 students is set to join the programme for the 2021-2023 academic years after completing a very competitive recruitment process through applications, written tests and interviews.  

The Eastern Partnership European School Project is an initiative by the European Union to offer high quality education to successful high school students from the six EaP countries through a IB Diploma programme with a focus on European Studies. The project is expected to increase students’ educational and employment opportunities, fostering cooperation, multi-cultural understanding, tolerance, and fundamental values, and promoting a better understanding of the EU and its engagement in the region.

The project is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by UNOPS in partnership with New School – International School of Georgia, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organisation.

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