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Paying for knowledge

Belarusian diplomas may soon be recognised beyond country’s borders
By Vladimir Velikhov

Sergey Maskevich, the Minister for Education, recently announced at the European Quality Education International Forum in Minsk that standards in Belarus ‘not only correspond with the Bologna process but outstrip it’. He asserted that higher education is a focus across Europe, with improved quality of education to the fore. He admitted that a universal solution is yet to be found but noted, “Each country is improving its education system in its own way but is oriented towards international standards. We have potential, so exchange of experience with foreign colleagues is vital.”

Vadim Titov, the First Pro-Rector of the Magna Carta Oxford Business School, feels that such forums inspire development in the education system, giving the ‘opportunity to gain access to technologies only found in some places globally’.

Mr. Maskevich recalled that, 15 years ago, annual university fees equalled three average monthly incomes but that the figure has now fallen considerably. Mr. Titov views education as an investment into business potential and notes that foreign postgraduate education is accessible to most Belarusians, despite fees rising for on-campus courses. He notes that ‘distance learning’ courses are cheaper than ever: just $500-600 per module. He emphasised, “If you want to study with a European university, it is possible.”

The 1st European Quality Education International Forum (EQE-Forum) in Minsk featured a report from H.E. Bruce Bucknell, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Belarus. Speaking on the theme of ‘The Integration of the Belarusian Education System into the International Market of Educational Services’, he noted that he had found the forum interesting and a venue for real exchange of opinions and ideas.

Ian Fraser, Director of Marketing and Business Development with the Association of Business Executives of Great Britain (АВЕ), praised the organisation of the forum, adding that it was a significant event in the educational sphere.
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