The International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) was created in response to a letter in 2005 from Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania - just three weeks before his tragic death - to the World Bank President James Wolfensohn, in which he appealed for help in "creating our own capability to train young economists in modern economics as it is taught all over the world and to conduct economics research here in Georgia."
Initial input from the World Bank and ongoing support from the Government of Georgia, the Government of Germany, and Tbilisi State University, in cooperation with an international group of donors including BP, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Open Society Institute Higher Education Support Program, and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), have made Zhvania's dream a reality. ISET opened its doors to students in 2006 to offer the first world class Master's Program in Economics in the South Caucasus.
- International quality Master's Program in Economics;
- Two year English-language curriculum;
- Regional mandate (South Caucasus);
- 287 graduates (36% currently in such PhD programs as: Stanford, Chicago, New York University and Pennsylvania, among others);
- 34 students in class of 2017; 45 students in class of 2018;
- 8 assistant professors (all with PhD from prestigious programs in Europe and North America);
- More than two dozen senior visiting faculty from Israel, Western Europe and the US;
- Internship programs with the Chief Economist Office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), London; IMF and World Bank country offices in Baku, Tbilisi and Yerevan, and WB DC headquarters, Central Banks, Ministries and leading energy companies of the region;
- An affiliated think-tank - ISET Policy Institute - to engage students, graduates and faculty in policy research, training and outreach for the benefit of the broader academic, public and private sector communities in the South Caucasus;
- ISET Library hosts one of the best economics collections in the South Caucasus, supplemented by journal collection, classical journals and monographs, donated by the family of the late Princeton Professor Robert Kuenne. The library also serves as the WB and IMF repository and public information center in Georgia.