Updated at 18:07,08-09-2017

Belarusian State University ready to join Bologna Process, rector says

By Alena Spasyuk, BelaPAN

Belarusian State University (BSU) is ready to join the Bologna Process, Syarhey Ablameyka, the rector of Belarus largest university, told reporters in Minsk on Tuesday.

All in all, nothing will change whether or not we join the Bologna Process, he said. I see no problems for us. No one will say that BSU doesnt measure up in some way.

Dr. Ablameyka said that the BSU administration encouraged student initiative and had increased the number of students in the universitys council.

Of the 20,000 people studying at BSU full-time, 2,500 are foreigners, Dr. Ablameyka noted. By world standards, 10 percent of foreign students is seen as a high proportion, he added.

Speaking about student mobility, Dr. Ablameyka said that about 1000 BSU students participate in exchange programs every year. This practice will continue, he said. However, everything comes down to money. Someone has to pay for these exchanges, either the student or the university.

Belarus formally applied to join the European Higher Education Area in December 2011. At a meeting held in Copenhagen in January 2012, the Bologna Follow-Up Group blocked Belarus bid to join the Bologna Process for three years. According to the Groups assessment, Belarus did not respect the principles and values of the Bologna Process such as academic freedom, institutional autonomy and student participation in higher education governance.

Belarus submitted its second application in November 2014. It may be considered this May.

Belarus remains the only European country excluded from the club of 47 nations involved in the EHEA.