No graduate unclaimed
The Belarusian State University has been and remains a national leader in higher education, attracting the best students annually. With those applying for full-time education remaining steady in number over the last four years, the university has opened its doors to over 2,000 state-funded young people this year and plans to accept the same number as fee-paying
New specialities are always being added, to reflect the needs of our modern world, as BSU Rector Sergei Ablameiko explains:
We always investigate the market before launching new specialities and close those no longer being applied for; this year is no exception. We apply the relevant ministries to learn the demand for new specialities over a five year period and don’t launch new courses without confirmation.
None of our graduates remain unclaimed, with 98 percent of state-funded students being allocated state jobs on graduation. Only a very small number have to look for their first job themselves. Our programmers, mathematicians and lawyers are in huge demand. Those who are fee-paying generally find employment within a year of graduating, making use of their speciality. We try to follow their progress each year.
We’re all keen to hear that our Belarusian university graduates find employment in their homeland but globalisation is a driving force, taking Belarusian specialists far and wide. In which countries is the diploma of BSU recognised?
BSU graduates work almost everywhere around the globe, especially our mathematicians and programmers. Our chemists and physicists are also in significant demand. It’s more difficult for lawyers and literary graduates, since these are more ‘national focused’ specialties, but much depends on the person. Some are successful while others are not. In fact, after 4-6 years, experience becomes more important. I’d say that it’s better to find employment in Belarus.
The BSU leads in Belarus for its number of foreign students. Why is this so?
Our high quality of education attracts them. Currently, 2,300 foreigners are studying with us, paying more than at any other Belarusian higher education institution. This doesn’t deter anyone and, in fact, more apply every year. They all comment on the high quality of our BSU diplomas. Of course, foreigners can see that our university is rising in world educational rankings, which counts for a great deal. Spanish ‘Webometrics’ places us among the top five universities in the CIS, behind three Russian and one Ukrainian university.
Russia’s top universities are in Moscow and St. Petersburg, with nine federal universities also highly ranked. These are powerful, well-financed institutions, so it indicates something that we are in the top five. In recent years, we’ve risen above universities in the Baltics; the BSU is in the upper 2 percent worldwide.
You clearly employ highly experienced academic staff. Of course, online lectures by leading teachers and experts are quite popular these days. Does the BSU participate?
We have such experience and give lectures for our regional offices. However, it’s problematic to do this on a permanent basis, since it requires much organisation and it’s costly to record a course of video-lectures. Nevertheless, we have positive experience of doing so and there are no technical obstacles. It’s a lot of work to prepare a course of lectures, then record and process them, yet a number of teachers have already begun to do so.
As far as I know, BSU gives special attention to the space theme.
Last year, we opened the Aerospace Education Centre; students interested in space will have much to do there.
In early June, the BSU held Belarus’ first radio communication session with Russian crew members on the International Space Station: Pavel Vinogradov and Fiodor Yurchikhin. So, the space theme is alive and is being developed in various avenues. We are negotiating with Russia’s Roscosmos to help us create us a satellite. It needs development, testing and launching. We can build it but testing needs the involvement of the Russians. Negotiations are being conducted.
What does the future hold for BSU?
In short, the Belarusian State University should be one of the best in the world. Not so long ago, it celebrated its 90th anniversary; in 8 years, we‘ll celebrate our centennial. To be named as one of the best, in a world of more than 30,000 universities, would be a great gift. We’re already in the top 600 (up from 2000th). We are progressing, which is vital and pleasing. Our plans are real: repair the main building, construct a new building and hostels, and make progress in science.