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Opinions & Interviews

16 May 2013

Alexander Zhuk: Education system development is a strategic priority of Belarus

Alexander Zhuk: Education system development is a strategic priority of Belarus

MINSK, 16 May (BelTA) – Steady and progressive development of the education system is a strategic priority of Belarus. The stability of all branches of the economy, the society and the state as a whole hinges on the development of the education system. The opinion was voiced by First Deputy Education Minister of Belarus Alexander Zhuk at an information and education seminar held on 16 May, BelTA has learned.

Highly trained professionals are the key resource of Belarus, said the official. The government program for developing higher education in Belarus in 2011-2015 has outlined strategic guidelines for modernizing higher education taking into account international trends, primarily those in Europe. The modern level of economy is so science-intensive that highly qualified specialists, who are capable of innovative efforts, are required for further development, he said.

Alexander Zhuk remarked that in the years of Belarus’ sovereignty the number of university students has increased up to 475 per 10,000 capita, which is comparable with European figures. He said that university education is popular because the country’s economy is export-oriented (70% of the merchandise and services is destined for export) and does not have significant natural resources but people. “Today we can state with satisfaction that the system of higher education in Belarus is, by and large, a university-type system,” remarked the official. At present there are 54 higher education institutions in Belarus and they operate in every part of the country. It allows predicting, planning, and satisfying the demand for personnel in the regions.

Belarusian universities have signed over 1,800 agreements on cooperation in education with foreign partners from 58 countries across the globe. The promotion of international ties by universities allows implementing joint education programs, which add to the recognition of Belarusian university education diplomas at the international level, the involvement of Belarusian universities in international rankings and other educational projects. At present joint education programs are in progress in 13 Belarusian universities in partnership with universities of France, China, Sweden, Germany, Lithuania, and other countries.

Alexander Zhuk believes Belarus has earned a reputation of a reliable and active partner in forming a common education space with several neighboring countries within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Eurasian Economic Community. Many members of these multinational associations are already involved in the construction of the European education space while the mentioned regional common education areas rely on components of the Bologna process. It indicates that Belarus shares and in essence implements the principles of building the European higher education space.

 

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