Education attractive in all senses

More students than ever in Belarus are paying fees for their education

By Veniamin Glukhov

According to the Education Ministry’s Department for Higher Education, about 57,000 students are expected to enrol at state universities this year, for full-time and correspondence courses. Another 15,000 are to enter privately, with the number of those studying free of charge, on state scholarships, halved.

Specialists say that payable education is gaining popularity, being among the cheapest in the CIS. Students in Russia and Ukraine pay far more. Moreover, Belarusian students pay less than the real cost of their education. “At present, around 30 percent — on average — of educational costs are compensated in the Republic,” notes the Education Minister, Sergei Maskevich.

Affordable prices are attracting foreign students to Belarus, with over 10,000 currently attending higher educational establishments. The Belarusian State University has about 2,000 international students; the executive secretary of its admission board, Vyacheslav Molofeev, admits that they pay almost double the fees of Belarusians. He stresses that the popularity of higher education is growing, with around 60 percent of BSU students pay for their studies. This year, over 2,600 full-time students will pay for studies at the BSU (with about 2,100 studying free of charge). In turn, fee-paying correspondence students will number about 1,500 (against 440 studying free of charge). Another 714 will receive a second higher degree.

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