Belarus takes great pride in its system of upper secondary and post-secondary vocational education preserved by the country since the Soviet times, by contrast with other post-Soviet states. Russia and other countries draw on Belarus’ experience in this area.
At present, 63,400 people receive upper secondary vocational education and 112,500 are enrolled in post-secondary vocational education programs.
Upper secondary vocational education is delivered by 127 lyceums and vocational colleges and 49 other educational institutions. They train specialists in almost 300 professions, with around 30,000 students graduating annually.
Post-secondary vocational education is provided in 111 colleges, including in ten private ones, as well as in 84 other educational institutions. They offer training in 158 specializations, with over 33,000 students graduating every year.
The system of upper secondary and post-secondary vocational education quickly responds to the changes in the labor market. This is possible thanks to the existing legal mechanism that ensures correlation between the companies’ demand and the number of trained specialists at all levels of vocational education. Scientific and methodological support for the educational process is improving steadily. Companies that need particular specialists are involved in updating educational standards and designing curricular and programs.
The country also continues to develop its network of resource centers that includes 48 centers in nine types of economic activity. These centers use modern educational technologies, latest learning media and equipment. The resource centers annually enroll around 25,000 people, 19,900 of whom are students of upper secondary and post-secondary vocational education institutions. They also offer internship programs for industrial training specialists from industry specific educational institutions (700 people), and vocational and advanced training courses for adults (more than 4,000 people).
Every two years the country stages the nationwide competitions WorldSkills Belarus that bring together participants and specialists from all over the country. The program of the competitions includes more than 30 skills in such areas as construction technology, information and communication technology, art and fashion, manufacturing and engineering technology, transport and logistics, social and personal services. Over 100 leading enterprises and organizations are partners of the nationwide competitions. They provide modern equipment and materials, help train and judge participants.
Higher education in Belarus is prestigious yet accessible. Students are admitted to higher education institutions after taking centralized tests and entrance exams in higher education institutions themselves. Day classes, evening classes, and extramural classes are available. All graduates of certified higher education institutions receive standard state diplomas. Young specialists whose full-time education is paid for by the state are provided with post-graduation jobs in accordance with their specializations.
Belarusian higher education institutions are subdivided into classical universities, specialized universities (academies, conservatories), and institutes.
Bachelor’s degree education and master’s degree education are available in 51 universities, including 42 state ones and nine private ones. They offer training in 15 education profiles that feature 385 bachelor’s degree specializations and 156 master’s degree specializations.
There are over 280 university students and post-graduate students per 10,000 population, which is on par with European countries.
Scientific personnel and academic and teaching personnel take doctor’s degree courses as part of post-graduate education programs.
Belarusian higher education institutions work hard to develop scientific, research, innovative, and entrepreneurship infrastructure with a view to creating innovative products and commercializing results of intellectual activities in line with the University 3.0 model.
The Belarusian Association of Student Sport (BASS, http://www.sportbass.by/) was established in 2012. All the higher education institutions are its founders.