MINSK, 14 July (BelTA) – About 33,000 foreign students from 100 countries attend Belarusian universities. Belarusian Education Minister Andrei Ivanets mentioned the figure during a session of the National Council of Rectors held in Vitebsk to discuss the export of education services, BelTA has learned.
Improving the competitive ability of higher education on the international scale is one of the main tasks of development of Belarusian vocational education as part of the government program “Education and youth policy in 2021-2025” and the concept on developing the education system till 2030. The number of foreign students in Belarusian universities rose considerably in 2020-2021. The figure totaled 26,000 in the 2019/2020 academic year. It rose to about 33,000 in the 2021/2022 academic year. The export of education services increased respectively. At present Belarusian universities are implementing over 200 joint education programs together with foreign higher education institutions. One can mention an increase in export to China as one of the positive results. Belarusian education is most popular among residents of Northern China, Southern China, and Central China. About 550 agreements on cooperation between Belarusian and Chinese universities are in effect, Andrei Ivanets noted.
The education minister remarked that Russia is the main partner in the sphere of export of education services. Belarusian and Russian universities have signed about 1,500 agreements. Academic, lecturer, and information exchanges are being realized as part of these programs. Russian students can enroll in Belarusian universities if they have passed centralized tests. Starting this year people, who pass the unified state exam in Russia, are granted certain privileges for choosing for-profit education in Belarusian universities, in particular, if they opt for the specializations the economy needs most.
The market of education services in Asia has quite a large capacity, too. “The number of students from Sri Lanka, India, Iran, Iraq, and Israel in the 2021/2022 academic year amounted to 71.6% of the total Asian market excluding China. Vietnam, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, and Syria are also promising countries in the region. Further penetration of the international market can be achieved through participation in fairs and expos in order to present Belarus' education opportunities, through effective advertising via Internet resources and social networks, through use of English-language education programs, and through interaction with Belarusian embassies,” Andrei Ivanets concluded.
Taking part in the session of the National Council of Rectors were Head of the Education and Sociocultural Sphere Office of the Council of Ministers Office Iosif Petkevich, Chairwoman of the Science and Education Workers Trade Union Tatiana Yakubovich, Rector of the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics, Chairman of the National Council of Rectors Vadim Bogush. Participants of the session discussed the development of international activities of Belarusian higher education institutions and ways to increase the export of services.