Official Website of the Republic of Belarus
About Belarus

Belarus Events Calendar
Belarus’ Top Tourist Sites
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belarus
Belarusian sanatoria and health resorts
Souvenirs from Belarus
| Home | About Belarus | Education

Education in Belarus

School enrollment in Belarus is about 1 million
School enrollment in Belarus is about 1 million

Belarus has a well-regarded education system, including universities and further education institutions that attract numerous foreign students.

The Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Program positioned Belarus at 53 out of 189 countries and territories in 2019. Educational attainments play a huge role in this. The literacy rate of the adult population is one of the world’s highest (99.7%), while 98% of the country's population completed at least nine years of schooling. At present compulsory education requires eleven years spent in school.

Belarus has a three-tier education model:

  • general education (pre-school education, secondary education, secondary vocational education, post-secondary vocational education, higher learning and post-graduate education);
  • continuing education for children and adults;
  • special needs education for people with special needs. 

Pre-school education

Pre-school education is not compulsory in Belarus but around 70% of children do attend nursery or kindergarten before they start school.

School education in Belarus

Most children in Belarus start school at the age of 6.

All pupils must follow the basic education curriculum up to the age of 15, and the vast majority of pupils stay at school until they finish their high school education at 18.

At the age of 15, pupils that have successfully completed basic education can attend college or professional technical institutions where they can focus on completing their high school education and work toward a professional certificate.

Completion of a high school or professional certificate allows students to apply to continue their education at the university level.

There are two official languages within the education system in Belarus, Russian and Belarusian.

Further education in Belarus

Belarus has one of the highest student-to-population ratios in Europe. The higher education system in Belarus is seen as prestigious due to its high quality and affordability.  

There are four main types of higher education establishments to choose from, which can be either private or state operated:

  • classical university
  • profile university or academy
  • institute

In 2003, admission exams to universities in Belarus were replaced by Centralized Testing (CT) exams. Applicants take them on certain days in June-July according to the schedule approved by the Education Ministry. Applicants can choose four disciplines. For admission to a university, an applicant needs three CT certificates, depending on the major and internal exams at a university. The fourth discipline is optional and opens a larger window of opportunity for an applicant.

During the period of transition to Centralized Testing, the Education Ministry developed uniform admission rules taking into account the training programs of educational institutions. Other important reforms included the launch of the Classifier of Specialties and Qualifications, the higher education standards, and a 10-grade scale. The final stage was the adoption of the Education Code (2011).

Most courses run for 4-6 years. Aspiring students can choose one of several forms of learning. They can study during the day or evening, in-class or by distance education.

Grants are available for full-time students and scholarships are awarded to very gifted students.

All higher education establishments are governed by the Ministry of Education in Belarus.

In May 2015 Belarus officially joined the Bologna Process – the European Higher Education Area.

Can foreign students study at Belarusian universities?

Many foreign students study at higher educational institutions of Belarus. As a rule, education for foreign citizens in Belarus is fee-based. The cost depends on the chosen specialty, form of study and educational institution.

Where can you study?

There are 50 higher education establishments in Belarus.

For more information about the education system in Belarus, please click here

Great Patriotic War monuments in Belarus