INTERESTING JOURNEY FOR KNOWLEDGE

Education is a commodity which, according to different estimations, is included into top-five of the most profitable export articles of several states. For example, it ranks fifth in the USA and third in Australia. “We can have the same situation,” assures Valentina Dynich, the Director of the Institute of Continuous Education of Belarusian State University, the Candidate of physico-mathematical science, the associate professor
Education is a commodity which, according to different estimations, is included into top-five of the most profitable export articles of several states. For example, it ranks fifth in the USA and third in Australia.

“We can have the same situation,” assures Valentina Dynich, the Director of the Institute of Continuous Education of Belarusian State University, the Candidate of physico-mathematical science, the associate professor.

“In its time the Soviet Union was a leader in rendering educational services to foreigners. Over a period of 40 years, from 1950 to 1990, the number of students increased by 20 times. It is clear that we lost ground for some time. However, during the last decade Belarus went forward: more than 50 higher educational establishments prepare foreigners, the number of students approaches to the mark of 7 thousand. Will this number increase, in your opinion? And why are Belarusian higher educational establishments so attractive to foreigners?”

“Firstly, they are attractive because they managed to preserve good fundamental education, quality of training increases constantly. Secondly, our people are very amicable and hospitable and none of foreign students repented coming to study to our country. Besides, tranquility is one of the reasons of greater education attractiveness in Belarus than, for example, in Russia, which is more important for many graduates than distance, not always favorable meteorological conditions and absence of eating habits.
We have everything necessary for the students to study here. However, if we don’t improve our academic activity taking into account their needs we, in my opinion, can exhaust the existing credit of trust.

I am sure that we can prepare a roundup interdisciplinary course out of the block of humanitarian disciplines. As a result, there will be time for other subjects.

If given the opportunity, students would gladly choose the level and volume of training which they would need in their Motherland. It is profitable for us too. Having become professionals, they will hold responsible offices at home. For example, Belarusian State University in the period of the Soviet Union provided education for the citizens of Vietnam. Many executives of governmental institutions of this country, as well as many rectors, are our pupils. Naturally, they choose Belarusian higher educational establishments for cooperation.”

“It is impossible to call a mother of a foreign student-truant for a talk. How do you cope with such difficulties? Is there a possibility to promptly deselect those who didn’t come to study?”

“Firstly, on the Web-site of our institute parents can trace students’ progress by their passport number because foreigners, as well as other children, may fall to temptation to distract from study, which is frequent. Sometimes students lead their parents up the path and ask for a good deal of money supposedly for daily expenses which they spend for entertainments. In order to avoid this, the higher educational establishment prepared reminders for parents with prices for some goods.

The institute puts an emphasis on the work with reliable partners (mediators between the institute and students). If a student misses classes, we send him home in compliance with agreements at the expense of the facilitating agency. If the partner doesn’t fulfill his obligations (for example, if students are not brought for registration), we give notices to all services and embassies and break the contract. The partner is also being carefully checked.”

“Is the data about Belarusian higher educational establishment sufficient abroad as of today?”

“There is a lot of information. Still, we need to go further. In particular, to think about the opening of branches abroad. The task is set but only first steps are being made. Yet only Vitebsk State Medical University has such a representative office in Sri Lanka. We can choose another way. For example, within the frames of the agreement with Harbin Polytechnic University, our pedagogues teach there and the students, studying Russian language in Harbin, are third-year students of Belarusian State University. At Tangshan school of foreign languages (People’s Republic of China) in compliance with the concluded contracts our institute’s employees will teach Russian language to pupils of the 12th form. Those who pass exams successfully will be invited to study in our country.

In whole, more information appeared about our higher educational establishments. And still, I am sure that it is necessary to pursue a more aggressive policy. We shouldn’t wait for being noticed. We shall propagandize ourselves in every possible way: send information at the addresses of foreign representative offices, ministries of education of other states, spend days of culture and education. If you don’t ask, you won’t be answered and the competition is enormous. Besides, we may and shall advertise our educational system by means of other activities, for example, by means tourism.”

Vera Artemjeva
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