MINSK, 6 October (BelTA) - At least 25,000 foreign students from more than 100 countries are enrolled in major and additional programs in Belarus, Belarusian Education Minister Igor Karpenko said during the plenary session of the international educational forum of foreign graduates of Belarusian (Soviet) and CIS universities, BelTA has leaned.
"The theme of the forum is consonant with the slogan of the Year of People's Unity declared in Belarus in 2021. Representatives of different ethnicities, religions and cultures have lived side by side in our country for centuries. This diversity has become the hallmark of Belarus and its unique heritage, which we try to preserve for the sake of peace and harmony in society, well-being and prosperity of future generations. The tolerant policy of the Belarusian government extends to cover education, which contributes towards expanding the geography of foreign students. In recent years, at least 25,000 people from more than 100 countries have been enrolled in major and additional programs in Belarusian universities. Most of them return to their countries and seek professional recognition there," Igor Karpenko said.
According to him, today education is expected to meet high requirements. "In the context of the global labor market, education is facing new quality requirements, and Belarus strives to meet these high standards. The high level of Belarusian education is evidenced by the victories of students, schoolchildren at international Olympiads, the growing demand for our specialists on the part of the largest scientific and industrial centers of the world. Our education system is constantly improving, striving to meet, among other things, the expectations and interests of foreign students," the minister said.
The education sector seeks to match the structure and needs of the labor market, to reinforce a practice-oriented focus in combination with fundamental training. The universities are implementing the University 3.0 project. The project is a springboard for the transition to the next model - University 4.0, which implies that the university performs not only educational, scientific and commercial tasks but also forms new fast-growing industries, promising technological markets, leading administrative and territorial areas.
Work is underway to strengthen and further develop the system of vocational education in the country. In order to develop skills and introduce new forms and methods of educational process, 51 competence centers were set up to promote nine types of economic activity. “We offer foreign partners educational programs for different levels of education: bachelor's and master's degrees, postgraduate education (postgraduate, doctoral studies), programs of additional professional education and skills upgrade. Some of these programs can be run online, as well as in English,” said Igor Karpenko.
More than half of Belarusian higher education institutions offer educational programs in English in 256 specialties. Developing in line with global trends, Belarusian institutions have branched out in China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Poland, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Vietnam, the United States and other countries. Belarusian universities have also launched joint educational programs with universities in China, Sri Lanka, Japan, Israel, the United States, Poland, Germany, Portugal, Latvia, France, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Obtaining a double diploma is possible in most of these programs.
“Student years are a golden time of life that lies the foundation for further development and connects fellow students with close bonds of friendship. It is very important to maintain this bond with your alma mater and like-minded professionals. I am sure that the idea of uniting alumni within corresponding associations is more relevant than ever today. I believe that there is a need for closer cooperation between Belarusian universities and the International Association of Graduates, and I hope that the agreements that we have signed today will give impetus to this work,” added Igor Karpenko.