A student’s home
[b]The Belarusian State University opened a new hostel in Minsk in early 2010, making it the first building in the student village (scheduled for completion in late 2013) [/b]The new hostel for Inter-national Relations and Law students has been visited by President Lukashenko. He chatted to Belarusian students, alongside those from China and Turkmenistan. “We’ll build more hostels for students, including those from abroad. Foreign students studying here are our ‘ambassadors’ abroad,” noted Mr. Lukashenko.
The new hostel for Inter-national Relations and Law students has been visited by President Lukashenko. He chatted to Belarusian students, alongside those from China and Turkmenistan. “We’ll build more hostels for students, including those from abroad. Foreign students studying here are our ‘ambassadors’ abroad,” noted Mr. Lukashenko.
The President was interested to discover what the Chinese and Turkmen young people think of life in Belarus. “It’s good, it’s peaceful,” they replied in unison. “We’ll never offend you,” promised the President, explaining that, unlike some other countries, including those which neighbour Belarus, his nation treats foreigners benevolently. Tolerance is a Belarusian trait, making the country attractive on the market of educational services. However, the main attraction for foreign students is value for money.
According to the Ministry of Education, last year, over 7,000 students from 83 countries studied in Belarus; these included young people from remote Argentina, Australia, the Maldives and Zambia. At present, Belarusian universities are partnered with scientific organisations and universities from 57 countries. Over 600 agreements are in force, including those relating to student exchange. The universities of Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Germany and China are the largest partners of Belarusian higher educational establishments.
In the past decade, student numbers have more than tripled, with technical and humanities subjects proving most popular, unlike medicine — which used to enjoy great demand. In addition, military matters are gaining popularity, with students from China, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, Libya and Vietnam attending the Military Academy and military departments at civil universities. “A complete cycle of military education has been established, training specialists in operative-strategic, operative-tactical and tactical levels,” the Defence Ministry notes.
The Belarusian State University has been the most popular higher educational establishment for foreigners for many years. The Marketing Department of the BSU’s International Relations Chair has conducted research showing that Belarus and its leading university are associated with quality, order and accessibility in the minds of foreign students.
According to the latest data, over 800 Chinese people are studying at the BSU, comprising the largest foreign group. Additionally, dozens of youngsters from Turkey, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran and Libya study here. Among CIS citizens, Russians lead (259), followed by Turkmenistan students (218). Foreigners are primarily interested in studying economics, international relations, management, jurisprudence, international law, Russian language and literature, and geology.
University rectors and the Education Ministry plan to enhance the attractiveness of education in Belarus for foreign students. Universities are relying on professional market research and active advertising to enhance their export of services. In 2010, profits from educating foreign students should rise 1.6 times on 2005, to exceed $7m, as is stipulated in the development concept for educational service exports. Of course, this is far from being the limit.
By Vitaly Volyanyuk
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