Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Authorities set to change university admission rules

By Alyaksey Alyaksandraw, BelaPAN

The government is drawing up a presidential edict that will introduce changes to the rules of admission to schools of higher learning and vocational schools.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka met with top education officials on Tuesday to discuss the draft edict, said the government's news agency BelTA.

He warned that education programs and admission numbers should be adjusted to fit the economy's need for highly skilled workers.

Mr. Lukashenka indicated that the draft edict would toughen requirements for receiving university admission privileges. You suggest that there should be a serious selection, criteria if we grant privileges to some group, for instance subject Olympiad winners, he was quoted as saying. As for athletes, only those with certain sports achievements under their belts [should enjoy privileges].

Mr. Lukashenka approved a proposal to raise the number of centralized tests that a university applicant is to take from three to four starting 2017. The measure is expected to give applicants a wider choice of education programs that they can apply to, said Education Minister Mikhail Zhurawkow.

Mr. Lukashenka also backed a proposal to make centralized test scores valid for two years, not one year as is the case now.

The meeting also focused on the possibility of restoring separate entrance tests at each school of higher education.