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14 Dec 2020

Forum of Belarusian, Russian universities underway in Minsk

Forum of Belarusian, Russian universities underway in Minsk

MINSK, 14 December (BelTA) – The second forum of the Association of Universities of Belarus and Russia is running at the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics (BSUIR) in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

The forum has brought together more than 80 Belarusian and Russian universities. It is a hybrid event: 30 rectors are attending events at BSUIR in person, while heads of Russian universities have joined the forum via videoconferencing. Plans are in place to discuss the key issues of cooperation in education and science between universities of the two countries, modern challenges, and areas of further development of Belarus-Russia ties in education and science.

“We signed more than 1,400 direct agreements in education and science with Russian universities. They provide for joint projects and educational programs, student and teacher exchange programs, information exchange, and joint scientific research – the cooperation includes a wide range of areas,” Belarusian Education Minister Igor Karpenko said. “However, all these interstate agreements might remain on paper, if we do not provide real assistance for concrete people, namely, for students and teachers. The forum of rectors is meant to address these matters,” he added.

According to the minister, the avenues of cooperation between universities of the two countries are quite interesting. “We will conclude several agreements online. Some of them will be signed at a meeting of the collegium of the ministries tomorrow. We are particularly interested in cooperation in information technology – the digital transformation of the education system,” Igor Karpenko noted. “Last month, I was in Russia on an official visit. We met with our colleagues to discuss these matters and visited several educational institutions. We are keen to draw on Russia’s experience that can be modified for use in Belarus,” he said.

Several important events will be held on the sidelines of the forum, Russian Science and Higher Education Minister Valery Falkov stressed. “The most important event is scheduled for tomorrow – a meeting of the joint collegium where we will discuss matters regarding studies of Russian students in Belarus and Belarusian students in Russia. We would like to create additional conditions to improve student and teacher mobility,” he said. “I have already got familiar with the performance of the Minsk branch of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. Together with representatives of the Belarusian Education Ministry, we have discussed its development prospects and difficulties it experiences. Soon I will also inspect the Minsk branch of Russian State Social University,” Valery Falkov added.

The Russian education minister pointed out that the 8th edition of the Belarusian-Russian Youth Forum kicked off on 13 December. “Students and the youth of our countries are eager to learn about the cultures of Belarus and Russia. This year is particularly special as it marks the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory. I know that Belarus pays a lot of attention to preserving the historical memory and studying that difficult period,” he added.

The program of the Belarusian-Russian Youth Forum for 14 December includes visits to the National Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve Nesvizh and the All Saints Church in Minsk where the participants of the forum will meet with the participants of the international campaign To the Glory of the Common Victory. On 15 December, they will join the nationwide patriotic youth project Memory of the Heart, lay flowers and light lanterns at the Minsk Hero City Memorial. After that, they are set to take part in the discussion “Preservation of historical memory” in the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War. The forum will wrap up with a meeting with members of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus.

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